Tri-Met bus driver Bill Clark rescued 2-year-old James from wandering into traffic May 23. / KGW-TV
PORTLAND -- Smiling, but very humble, Oregon bus driver Bill Clark talked about the day he rescued a toddler from wandering into traffic.
On Thursday, Clark looked at the surveillance video from his bus for the first time. It has everyone calling him a hero.
The video is adorable but also makes you gasp at how close the 2-year-old named James came to something tragic happening.
The boy was able to get out of his parents' apartment on May 23 while his dad was sleeping and mom was away.
As soon as he spotted the toddler, Clark was quick to act.
"No, I'm no hero," Clark said after watching the newly released Tri-Met surveillance video. "I'm just an old guy that likes kids."
Clark has been driving a bus in one form or another for 15 years. But what he saw last Friday on his Gresham route was a first.
On the video, you can see the bus driving down a street around 8 a.m. and all of a sudden, the boy appeared.
"When I got out of the bus, I saw that he was barefoot, with a diaper on and he had on a little T-shirt," Clark said.
Before James got any farther into traffic, Clark quickly pulled the bus over. You can see the boy runs up to Clark but won't tell him his name or where he lives. Clark felt the only safe alternative was to bring the boy on board and call police.
Turns out, little James rides the bus regularly with his family, and on the video, you can see he knows exactly how to go sit down. Clark drove to a local transit station and along with police, watched over the boy until child services could come.
Local police tracked down his parents two hours later. Clark knows he did the right thing, but said it's not because he is a hero; he was just doing what anyone else should have done. "Had I been 30 seconds later, I believe he would have been right out in the middle," Clark said. "I guess God put me in the right place at the right time."
James' parents were interviewed by child services but weren't charged. Clark said he hopes they put some better locks on their doors.
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