Seven high school students headed to classes in Culpeper escaped injury when their 70-year-old bus driver crashed into a ditch and later died.
Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins says the driver, Jerry Heddings, suffered from some type of health-related issue while driving, but still managed to steer the bus to a slow stop.
"My father had known him as a friend and said what a wonderful man he was and that the students loved him dearly," he says. "Even though he was apparently in his final hour, his health deteriorating, he did everything he could to protect the children. "
Heddings was a driver at both Eastern View High and Floyd Binns Middle School.
The students were on their way to Eastern View High School. They were picked up by parents or friends at the scene of the crash.