DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WBZ/CNN) – Driver Mark Jardin had a bus full of students when a deer came crashing through the windshield and landed in his lap on the way to Dartmouth Middle School this week.
Student Zhoe Rodriques was sitting in the row behind the driver and only had an instant to react.
"My friend grabbed me,” she said. “I tucked under her as the deer came flying at us because where I was sitting, the deer’s head was right there.”
Badly injured, Jardin safely brought the bus to a stop.
"My bus driver, Mark, he stood up and his hand was all bloody, had blood on his face,” student Zachary Lake said. “He had blood on his leg and he just told everyone to get off the bus."
Count Dartmouth police were impressed with how Jardin handled things.
“When you look at the images of the crash, it’s incredible,” said police Detective Kyle Costa “No. 1, how it occurred. And No. 2, that he was able not only to survive that impact but also walk away from it relatively unscathed after safely pulling that bus over.”
Jardin suffered a severely broken hand but still got the kids off the bus and over to a nearby yard for a head count.
“I was bleeding, and the kids were more concerned because I didn't even realize it," he said.
Goretti Jardin said she’s not surprised her husband didn’t know he was hurt.
"His priority was those kids and he got them to safety and then the ambulance said, 'You need to get in the ambulance.'"
Police say the deer was first struck by a car, which launched the animal into the bus.
In addition to the bus driver, five students were hurt, but their injuries were minor.