Hacienda Heights

Jail Employee Credited With Saving Passengers From Burning Bus on 60 Freeway

A Los Angeles County jail employee was being credited with saving the lives of 42 people who were trapped on a burning bus over the weekend.

Jesse Hernandez, a sheriff's custody assistant assigned to the North County Correctional Facility, was driving to work about 8:30 p.m. Sunday when he saw flames coming from the back of a charter bus on the 60 Freeway in Hacienda Heights, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Hernandez pulled over, ran toward the bus and noticed passengers "frantically hitting and kicking the exit door, which appeared to be stuck, trapping everyone inside," sheriff's officials said in a news release.

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HIGHWAY HERO: A routine commute to work turned into an extraordinary act of service for an LA County sheriff's jail employee: http://4.nbcla.com/L6jxNad

Posted by NBC LA on Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Hernandez forced the bus door open and helped the passengers and bus driver escape, officials said. Once they were out, Hernandez ran back inside the bus to check for anyone who may have been left behind.

No one was seriously injured.

Hernandez, a reservist for the National Guard, has been with the sheriff's department for three years and hopes to become a deputy.

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