A Long Island bus driver is being hailed as a hero after she saved a choking child, the girl's family says.
"You go to work and send your kids to school, and you expect to see them alive when you come back and not even think that could happen," said the girl's mother, Ada.
Veteran bus driver Sekethia Haywood said she was filling in on a bus shift in Inwood when she heard an alarming sound.
"The little girl I heard, some kids said she was choking on the bus, and I looked in the mirror and seen kids were surrounding here and seen that she was choking," she said.
"Her eyes was watering, she couldn't breathe."
Haywood knew immediately she had to act to save 8-year-old Hazel, who was grabbing her throat. The driver took the keys out of the ignition and checked on Hazel, getting her off the bus and taking her backpack off. The candy became dislodged.
For Hazel's parents, just saying "thank you" wasn't enough. They wanted to meet the woman who they saved her child's life. As Haywood spoke with News 4, Hazel and her parents surprised her with flowers Thursday, hugging her tightly.
"We believe that God put you on the bus yesterday to save our daughter, and this is why we are getting to spend the day with her today," Ada told Haywood.