5th Grader Notices Bus Driver Smells Funny, Calls 9-1-1, Saves Busload of Kids

A 10-year-old little boy named Troy Luna is being called a hero after something he did potentially saved the lives of a busload of 30 school kids. The Stanislaus County fifth-grader was worried because his bus driver was driving recklessly and that put him instantly on high alert, but his attention was also raised when he noticed that she smelled funny. Apparently the woman smelled so bad that it made some of the students on the bus cough. Furthermore, she actually missed a stop and started swerving. Then, she stepped on the breaks “really hard,” Troy said, and he added that it was hard enough to send some of the kids flying, with some kids even hitting their heads on the bus seats. The alarmed little boy called 9-1-1. Something that’s terrifying is that many of his classmates tried to talk him out of calling the authorities, but he was not to be deterred and told them, “I don’t care, I don’t feel right,” and he made the call. Police officers met the bus when the driver, Karolyn Denise Ray, pulled over to drop off a student. She failed the field sobriety test administered by the officers and was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and driving under the influence of drugs. District Superintendent Phil Phillpot said that it was “disheartening and appalling,” and added that Ray works for an independent company named First Student. First Student issued a statement saying that they are taking the incident very seriously and appreciate the concern that has been caused. According to the company, Ray was a substitute bus driver and was filling in that day from another district. She has since been fired. The superintendent met with the company to discuss options following the incident. He said that the school district will be re-evaluating its relationship with the company. Superintendent Phillpot said that he is proud of Troy and Troy’s mom Collette said that the whole family is proud of the astute young man.


Troy is accustomed to looking out for others. As the oldest of eight kids in his family, he is in “big brother” mode, and he also knows most of the other kids at his school, Bonita Elementary in Cros Landing. Police later confirmed that the bus driver was high on drugs. Watch this news video about the story below.