Monday, August 06, 2007

A good hand for a young hero.

One of the stories that floated around the tragic bridge collapse in Minneapolis concerned a young man, Jeremy Hernandez, 20. He is a worker with a local youth center which had taken a bus load of children to a local water park. On the way back to the center the bus was crossing the fated bridge when it collapsed.

The bus was the first thing I noticed when I saw a photo of the accident. It was smashed into a guardrail on the slanting bridgeway with destruction all about. I shivered when I saw the familiar yellow vehicle and feared the worst.

Mr. Hernandez was on that bus along with 61 children and a few other chaperons. And instinct took over. As the bus came to a stop he leaped to the back of the bus and kicked out the door. He just started handing children out of the back of the bus to strangers who appeared from nowhere to help. One after another Mr. Hernandez passed those children to safety.

He was the hero of the day. And when the press interviewed him they probed about his history. He told them he had been attending the Dunwood School of Technology to learn auto mechanics. But finances forced him to drop out. Word spread about that. Fees and tuition at Dunwoody can run up to $15,000 per year. The school was swamped with calls from students, staff and others all saying that something had to be done for this guy.

Dunwoody has now told the Hernandez family that if Jeremy wants to finish his course on auto mechanics that finances won't be an issue. Good for them. Good for Mr. Hernandez.

I wonder what the antiMexican folk would say about this. Perhaps one of those sites that reports on any immigrant arrested for anthing might report on this as well. But don't hold your breath.

Photo: From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune of Mr. Hernandez leaving the scene of the bridge after helping rescue 61 children.