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Good Samaritan saves Akron Metro bus driver and passengers

Posted at 4:01 PM, Feb 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-26 16:12:13-05

It was a normal day for Metro RTA operator Jennifer Simmons as she drove down Akron's West Market St.

Until it wasn't. 

"I got dizzy. And I just knew something was going on. All I could think was I've got to keep my foot on this brake," Simmons told News 5. 

Very suddenly she was very ill. She was unable to drive. 

Luckily, the passenger Simmons had been chatting with, Shirley Blanks, jumped into action. Blanks not only helped to stop the bus and put it in park, but she also made sure Simmons was okay. 

"I was like, 'Are you okay?' And she was like, 'Yeah.' Then she passes out. But we are over to the side, safely. I'm like, how do I get this bus in park?" Blanks said. 

Holding Simmons in her arms, Blanks parked the bus and got everyone out. 

"She handled the whole situation," Simmons said. 

But Blanks and Simmons are more than passenger and driver. The two are best friends of more than 30 years. 

Somehow, by chance, that day, earlier this month, was the first time Blanks ever hopped on Simmons' bus. 

"I never ride her bus. And that was my first experience," Blanks said. 

They both said they believe it was all for a reason.

"God sent my guardian angel," Simmons said. 

After spending a week in the hospital, Simmons is doing okay and cleared to be back behind the wheel.