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Rockford bus driver honored
Steve Salter has driven 100,000 miles without an accident
A local school bus driver has been honored by the California Highway Patrol for his heroic action during a gang-related shooting on Sept. 5 at a school-bus stop in Poplar.
On that day, Rockford School bus driver Steve Salter had a bus full of young students as he drove around a corner and pulled up to its normal stop not knowing a drive-by, gang-related shooting had just occurred. As Salter became aware of the situation, he kept the children on the bus, telling them to stay down and away from the windows, children reported that day.
Salter waited for the arrival of Tulare County Sheriff’s Department deputies and once the area was secured and Salter received the all-clear, he let the children disembark. The bus was then escorted out of the area by two sheriff’s vehicles.
The award is offered to one bus driver per CHP jurisdiction area, said Porterville CHP Officer Ed Flynn.
“He’s a great guy. He deserved it,” Flynn said. “He got the award for a number of reasons. He’s an excellent bus driver and the other main reason is because of the incident with the drive-by-shooting. He took care of those kids and kept them safe through the whole ordeal.”
Salter said he was shocked when he learned about the award.
“At first, I was shocked,” he said. “It was humbling. I feel honored.”
Rockford Superintendent Andrew Schultz congratulated Salter on behalf of the governing board, staff, students and parents of the Rockford community for being awarded the prestigious CHP bus driving award.
“Being selected for this award is a tribute of great distinction, reflecting a willingness to give unselfishly of one’s time and talents for the benefit of others,” Schultz said. “His course of actions with regards to the incident that took place in Poplar speaks of pride in one’s work and one’s profession, and illuminates those this district can count on when circumstances require extra effort. Salter has proven to be a true professional, and throughout his career here at Rockford, has established a reputation for integrity and dependability second to none. His bus driving knowledge and experience are assets whose value cannot be measured in dollars and cents.”
Salter has driven more than 100,000 miles accident-free — the equivalent of driving around the earth four times.