COLUMBIA — As a veteran Richland Two college bus driver, Kenneth Corbin had simply accomplished his annual pupil security coaching on April 26, which included classes on what to do if a car is ever taken hostage.
Two weeks later, the soft-spoken former electrical engineer was behind the wheel when an armed Fort Jackson trainee burst onto his car carrying 18 youngsters to Forest Lake NASA Explorer College, demanding he drive to the following city.
Corbin and the scholars have been launched unhurt at a church after a six-minute trip. The trainee was later captured by police.
“We consult with our college students as treasured cargo. That was so evident on Might 6. Our job and purpose is to move that treasured cargo to and from college in a secure and well timed method,” Corbin mentioned Might 14 on the Richland Two Institute of Innovation. “It was very essential that I carried out my job to the very best diploma doable, and I emphasize to folks we take that very critically.”
Corbin was honored by district officers for his grace beneath stress that morning, the place he was known as a hero by Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott and S.C. Superintendent of Schooling Molly Spearman.
Spearman mentioned the state has 6,000 drivers working its college bus fleet.
“Right this moment, you’re within the presence of considered one of our best,” Spearman mentioned. “I do know the youngsters love you, they’re very, very fortunate to have you ever as their bus driver and I do know they’re going to always remember you for the remainder of their lives.”
Will Anderson, Richland Two’s chief operations officer, mentioned the district didn’t have considered one of its 70 screens inside Corbin’s bus that day, as a result of they’re usually assigned to routes carrying youngsters with particular wants.
So Corbin was alone with coaching that was contemporary in his thoughts when a person carrying Military bodily coaching clothes pointed an empty M4 carbine rifle at his head and instructed him to drive.
Drivers are taught to hurry or function their autos erratically in emergency conditions to alert passing motorists, and that’s what Corbin did — blowing previous a bus cease.
“He’ll inform you he was simply doing his job, however the way in which he carried out that day was magnificent,” Lott mentioned.
Police arrested 23-year-old Jovan Collazo from New Jersey on 24 expenses, together with kidnapping.
On Might 13, state Sen. Mia McLeod, D-Columbia, launched a proclamation on the chamber ground recognizing Corbin for his heroics. After she learn it, colleagues gave a standing ovation.
“I simply wish to take a minute and thank God for you. I wish to thank him to your endurance and your braveness,” she mentioned Might 14, presenting him with a framed copy of the proclamation. “He put you in that house and in that setting and in these youngsters’s lives and in our lives for a motive.”
Superintendent Baron Davis mentioned officers are doing a radical evaluate of the district’s security protocols within the wake of the hijacking.
“’We applaud you for staying together with your younger college students. You attended to their wants within the face of nice hazard,” Davis mentioned. “Right this moment, we have a good time you and the peaceable ending all of us have been blessed to obtain in a really terrifying state of affairs.”
Davis introduced Corbin with scholar paintings and a stack of thanks playing cards collected by Forest Lake from each state within the nation.
Corbin deflected any credit score in short remarks, earlier than and his spouse Vivian have been escorted away from TV cameras. District spokeswoman Libby Roof mentioned he wasn’t snug within the highlight. However Corbin mentioned he confirmed as much as ship a message.
“My largest takeaway is the bond that I share with myself and my children, because it was my purpose to get them out of that incident secure and sound. I notice their purpose was to do the identical by me,” he mentioned. “I have been known as a hero, however I’ll defer that title to my children.”
Comply with Adam Benson on Twitter @AdamNewshound12.