Helping People

Superhero bus driver helps save a life for the third time in her career

Miami-Dade County bus driver Laronda Marshall’s quick actions saved the life of one of her passengers.
Miami-Dade County bus driver Laronda Marshall’s quick actions saved the life of one of her passengers. Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works

If a life needs saving, just pray that Laronda Marshall is nearby.

The Miami-Dade Transit driver might as well have a cape with an “S” on the front. Marshall has saved three lives since she started driving a bus eight years ago.

On Thursday, Marshall’s quick actions saved the life of one of her passengers, a man who was slumped in his seat and appeared to be sick, her bosses at the county’s Department of Transportation and Public Works said.

Marshall was driving the 77 bus near Northwest 103rd Street and Seventh Avenue when a passenger alerted her to the ill man.

The driver pulled over and called headquarters for help, then rushed to try to rouse him. But he wasn’t responding, the county said.

With the help of other passengers, Marshall laid him on the bus floor and began CPR. She didn’t stop pressing his chest until police and paramedics arrived.

“I have a love for people, and my instinct is to jump in and help,” Marshall said Friday.

The man survived. Paramedics said that if Marshall hadn’t jumped into action, he would be dead.

“The paramedics told me ... he would have passed away by the end of the line,” Marshall said.

Being called a hero is not new for Marshall. This was the third time she has come to the aid of people whose paths she crossed behind the wheel of her bus.

In November 2017, Marshall spotted a pedestrian lying in the road after being hit by a car. She parked her bus in a way to protect the man from further injury, then stayed to comfort him until help arrived.

A month later, Marshall saw a little girl alone in the middle of the street. She quickly guided the child onto her bus to keep her safe.

Marshall “goes above and beyond her duties,” said Alice N. Bravo, director of the transit department. “We are extremely proud ... and are grateful for her professionalism, heroism and her willingness to serve others — even in challenging situations.”

Marshall used to be a certified nursing assistant. Now, as a bus driver, she’s grateful she was able to use her medical skills to save lives.

“I really feel everybody should learn CPR because it could save a life,” she said. “Especially in transit.”

Miami Herald Real Time Reporter Devoun Cetoute covers breaking news, Florida theme parks and general assignment. He attends the University of Florida and grew up in Miami. Theme parks are on his mind in and out of the office.
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