Off-Duty Nurse Helps Save Bus Driver’s Life

Off-Duty Nurse Helps Save Bus Driver's Life (Image 1)

It was 8 a.m. and there were plenty of people around to help.  But none were more important at that moment than Sabrina Garrett.

Moments after a school bus had crashed along the side of Sullivant Avenue at Demorest Road, Garrett pulled up and saw the chaos.

“The driver was face down on the stairs, unconscious and when I checked he didn’t have a pulse,” Garrett told NBC4.

Six children from Imagine Academy were being led away from the bus but the driver, 51 year old Dewayne Ligand, was in obvious need of medical attention.

Sabrina had just finished a 12-hour shift as a cardiac nurse at The Ohio State University Ross Heart Hospital.  She’d picked up her 3-year-old daughter and was headed home.

Garrett started CPR and continued until paramedics arrived. She says by the time they put the bus driver into the ambulance, he had a pulse.

“It makes up for every bad day you have when something like this happens,” she said. “And I hope he does well and I pray for him and his family for a speedy recovery.”

Columbus Police and paramedics praised Garrett for her quick action and say she may have saved the driver’s life. 

What makes it all the more remarkable is that Garrett doesn’t normally pass by the intersection on her way home.

“I never go that way. I just for some reason I changed my route today….right place, right time,” Garrett said.

Police say none of the children on the bus were injured. Ligans was transported to Mt. Carmel West hospital and was initially listed in critical but stable condition. The hospital has declined to provide any updates.

Several witnesses, including a nurse who was in the area stopped to help the driver. The side door of the bus was kicked in by the witnesses so that the driver could be reached.

The intersection was closed until 9 a.m. while police investigated. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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