SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WALA) – “All of a sudden your mind kind of flashes and you’re thinking, ‘Am I going to live through this, too?’ And by then it was all over.”
Those were the thoughts running through BRATS bus driver, Raymond Mayo’s had a split second before an SUV slammed into him. The crash killed the driver of the SUV, 35-year-old Shawn Wiggins and injuried all 12 people on the bus.
“It was really a scary experience,” Mayo said, “I remember seeing somebody coming toward me and you’re going about 55 to 58 miles per hour, somewhere along in there and you’ve got a bus-load of people and you know you’re not going to be able to avoid the accident so your main concern is, ‘What can I do to help the passengers?'”
Mayo was driving 11 passengers from Mobile to Baldwin County on his daily Bay Link route. He says out of nowhere he saw the SUV coming at the bus. Mayo says when he tried to avoid the SUV by switching lanes, the SUV also switched lanes.
“The thing that went through my head is, ‘What am I going to do? How am I going to avoid this to keep from killing everybody?'” Mayo said.
That’s when Mayo said he made a split second decision to veer the bus to his left so the SUV would hit the passenger side and not kill him. The SUV then slammed into the front passenger side of the bus, crushing the front end of the SUV and the bus.
After the Crash, Mayo immediately called his daughter, Jennifer Mayo.
“I knew he was hurt because I could hear him shaking over the phone,” said Jennifer.
Mayo suffered from a broken sternum and some bruises. All twelve of the people on the BRATS bus are expected to be okay.
Mayo told us he doesn’t think he is a hero and that he wishes he could have done more, but his daughter says that thanks to her dad, 12 people went home alive.
“If he would have made a different decision it could have played out a lot differently, but because his quick thinking everybody that was under his care in that bus survived with minor to no injuries,” Jennifer said.