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Beth Insley, left, and her sister, Bettye Windom, look on as Jayne Sargent, conservator of the Claiborne County Public School District, reads a proclamation honoring them and others during a school board meeting in Port Gibson on Wednesday for their part in assisting a group of students whose bus caught fire on April 30. / Joe Ellis, The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger

JACKSON, Miss. -- Beth Insley and Bettye Windom are used to helping out in emergencies, but the sisters are still getting used to nationwide media attention after their efforts to stop a burning school bus.

The incident occurred after April 30 in Georgetown south of Jackson. The bus carrying 22 Port Gibson High School students and three chaperons was en route to Claiborne County from a state testing exam in Hattiesburg when it caught fire.

Windom said she and Insley were driving in a car behind the bus when they saw the smoke. They honked the horn and flashed their lights to try and get the driver's attention. Finally, Windom pulled in front of the bus and slammed on her brakes to get it to stop.

Insley and Windom then helped bus driver Terry Fells and three school chaperons evacuate the students from the bus immediately. One student suffered a bruised arm while jumping from the rear door.

The next day, national media started calling. On Monday, the Copiah County women were featured on the Ellen Degeneres Show's "The Good News" blog.

"They called us and asked if we could be there the next day," said Windom, 24, a rural mail carrier of Hazlehurst. "We got on the show that evening and they interviewed us."

Added Insley, a 29-year-old nurse at St. Dominic Hospital: "Everyone was just very receptive and very nice, and (Ellen) gave us very great prizes."

Officials are investigating the cause of the bus fire.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Sisters help stop burning bus, evacuate kids

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