NAVSEA Employee Prevents Bus Disaster

Story Number: NNS050907-01Release Date: 9/7/2005 9:09:00 AM
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By Landon Hutchens, Naval Sea Systems Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Passengers aboard a New York-bound bus Aug. 26 were spared from a potentially tragic traffic accident because a Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) program manager acted quickly to prevent disaster.

As the driver of the 60-passenger bus fell unconscious due to food poisoning, Matthew Tropiano, who works in NAVSEA corporate operations, quickly rose from his fourth-row seat to seize the steering wheel and apply pressure to the brakes. With the help of another man, Tropiano gained control and guided the bus safely over to the shoulder on Interstate 95 in Cecil County, Md.

"I didn't think; I just reacted," said Tropiano. "When I was alerted by another man that bus driver had slumped over, I just instinctively sprang from my seat to seize the wheel."

The driver was later treated for food poisoning at a nearby hospital.

Thanks to Tropiano's quick reaction, no one was injured. Passengers were relieved and grateful that a potentially fatal disaster was avoided.

"I was thankful I was able to help out and that everyone was safe," said Tropiano, originally from Long Island, N.Y.

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