JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville truck driver used his final breaths of life to help children after a school bus crash last week in Southeast Georgia.
Johnathon Grayer, 25, died Wednesday after authorities said he crashed into the school bus in Alma.
Veronica and Isaiah Grayer described their son, Johnathon, as a man with a heart of gold.
“He had this laugh about himself, " said Veronica Grayer.
Johnathon Grayer rear-ended the school bus with his Ryder box truck while the bus was unloading students, according to authorities.
By some miracle, the truck driver’s parents said, he managed to jump out of his damaged truck to help the children trapped on the bus.
“They said that for some reason or another, he just ripped the whole seat out the bus with the child, and I was, like, ‘Wow,‘” said Veronica Grayer.
In the midst of the chaos, Veronica Grayer said, her son tried to calm the students.
“He told a little child that they were going to get ice cream. And the parents said the little kid asked, ‘Where is the man that took me off the bus? Because we were supposed to get ice cream,‘” Veronica Grayer said
Eventually, Johnathon Grayer couldn’t muster up any more strength.
“After it happened, he collapsed and he was just done like God saying, ‘You did what I wanted you to do,‘” said Isaiah Grayer.
Johnathon Grayer died at a hospital. According to the Georgia State Patrol, more than a dozen students were on the bus, and 12 of them were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.
“I also want to thank the good Samaritan that stopped and sat there with my son until the paramedics got there. I want to thank him,” said Veronica Grayer.
Grayer’s parents said his kind heart and his subconscious desire to help the children is what will keep them pushing forward.
Grayer’s family members said their thoughts and prayers go out to the students and their families who were on the bus. They are hoping the children who were injured have a speedy recovery. They also want to thank everyone for their prayers and condolences during this difficult time.