Michael Fogerty, Director of Transportation, would like to honor Gabriel Figueroa, bus driver at the Transportation Department.
Mr. Figueroa was transporting his students to Rancho Viejo Middle School on the morning of October 18, 2016. He noticed that Ms. Dever’s bus was on fire and immediately pulled over to the side of the road to assist. Without hesitation, he began to gather Ms. Dever’s students who had been evacuated off the bus and were standing on the sidewalk. He instructed these students to get onto his bus, putting them in a safer area. Once the emergency personnel arrived, Mr. Figueroa transported these students to Rancho Viejo Middle School.
It should be noted that this is not the first time Mr. Figueroa has been instrumental in an emergency situation. Gabriel was the bus driver involved in the 2015 accident while transporting the 25 students who role play as victims in the “Every 15 Minute” program presented by the Hemet Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Hemet Fire Department and other public agencies. In that morning incident a car pulled out in front of him on highway 74. Mr. Figueroa made the instant decision to strike the car in front of him instead of taking evasive action and putting eastbound motorists at risk. Mr. Gabriel Figueroa should be commended for his calm and professional actions.