An off-duty cop saved a bus driver and a school aide from certain death this week after he spotted their mini-school bus go up in flames on the Long Island Expressway.
Officer Christopher Canale, a 33-year-old Queens transit cop, was driving on the LIE with his wife and two-year-old son around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday when he spotted the school bus in the road.
The bus had just rear-ended a tractor-trailer and was on fire; Canale, concerned there were children still on the bus, pulled his car over and intervened. "It's my biggest fear," he told the Daily News. "I have two kids of my own."
After prying the bus door open, Canale discovered that though no children were onboard, the driver and an aide were still inside. He was able to get both to safety, even though the bus was engulfed in flames and smoke. "Chris did what he does every day, as everyone else for the NYPD does&mashrisk their lives for others," NYPD Transit Chief Joseph Fox said in a statement. "But he did it off-duty, while he was on vacation."
The bus driver and aide were treated for minor injuries at a local hospital.