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He didn’t have a phone. So he noticed when the bus driver fainted.

Dillon Reeves, a seventh-grader whose parents haven’t given him a cellphone, grabbed the steering wheel and hit the brake to avoid a crash

Warren, Mich., middle-schooler Dillon Reeves hit the brake and steered his school bus out of traffic when the bus driver passed out on April 26. (Video: Storyful)
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When Steve Reeves got a call from police officers about his son late last month, he asked: “What’d he do?”

But the caller reassured Reeves that it was a “good phone call,” the father recalled in an interview with CBS News.

“Your son’s a hero,” they told Reeves. “He stopped the bus.”

That afternoon, his son, Dillon, a seventh-grader in Warren, Mich., had grabbed the steering wheel of his school bus, bringing it to a stop after the driver lost consciousness. The bus was veering into oncoming traffic, but Dillon’s swift actions kept about 60 students onboard safe from an accident. Of those students, Dillon was one of a rare few who wasn’t looking at a cellular device, which helped him notice the driver’s emergency, his family said in the CBS report that aired Friday.

“What else are you going to do when you don’t have a phone?” Reeves said. “You’re going to look at people. You’re going to notice stuff.”

On April 26, the school bus driver, who has not been publicly identified, was taking students home from Carter Middle School when she became lightheaded.

“I’m feeling really dizzy,” the driver said over the bus radio, according to video footage of the incident. “I might have to pull over.”

Then she started to lose consciousness. Her hands appeared to drop from the steering wheel.

Seconds later, Dillon, who was sitting about five rows back, came to the front of the bus, grabbed the steering wheel and pressed his foot on the brake, stopping the bus as students screamed around him.

One student who had been on the bus told CBS: “All of a sudden, the brakes get slammed.”

“We all were just terrified and shocked,” another said. A third student recounted: “And that’s when I looked up and saw him.”

“Someone call 911,” Dillon yelled from the front of the bus, according to video footage. “Now!”

Robert Livernois, superintendent of Warren Consolidated Schools, said last month that after Dillon stopped the bus, two “good Samaritans” came to help the bus driver and get the students out of the vehicle.

Asked during a news conference the day after the incident how Dillon knew what to do, Reeves told reporters that Dillon, 13, had previously driven a golf cart when the family had gone to campgrounds and practiced driving a car with his dad in the passenger seat for a few years.

“He could probably drive one of the cars out of here and be okay,” Reeves said during the news conference. “I promise you that.”

Dillon told his parents after the incident that he had watched the bus driver do her job every school day.

“I just knew what to do in that moment,” Dillon told CBS. “The bus was swerving off the road.”

In the weeks since, Dillon has been commended by the school district. Earlier this month, the school board presented him with a certificate of recognition, reported. He received a tribute from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) and a state seal from state Sen. Paul Wojno (D).

Last week, Dillon also got a key to the city of Warren from Mayor James Fouts.

“This was an extraordinary act of courage and maturity,” Livernois said during the news conference on April 27.

The incident has received coverage from media outlets across the country, with viewers praising Dillon’s bravery and quick thinking.

Steve Hartman, the host of CBS’s “On the Road” series, said in the network’s feature on Dillon that “virtually every kid” riding the bus was on a device.

But Dillon wasn’t. He doesn’t even have a cellphone, Reeves told CBS. He and his wife plan to hold off on getting Dillon one for now.

“It’s a very powerful lesson, maybe ‘change the world’ kind of lesson,” Reeves said.

When Hartman asked Dillon how he felt about that, he said: “Whatever. My parents are old school.”

“But for good reason,” Hartman said.

“I guess,” Dillon replied.