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‘Angel driver’ saves 2-year-old boy from choking

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 3:50 PM CDT
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ST. CLAIR Co., Ala. (WBRC) - A driver with the St. Clair County Public Transportation is now known as the “Angel Driver” after she saved a 2-year-old boy from choking Monday, July 19.

Thursday, the bus driver, the toddler and his father reunited for the first time since the heroic rescue.

Matthew Kujan says he and his family can’t imagine what their life would be like if it wasn’t for Carrie Denton.

Kujan says Monday afternoon they were headed to the lake for a family outing. Two-year-old Asher was in the backseat eating a snack when his wife noticed something was wrong. Kujan pulled over and immediately went to check on his son.

“I jumped out of the car,” says Kujan. “Stopped, jumped out of the car. I pulled him out of his seat as quick as I could. Had him just like this. I was hitting his back. Trying to knock it out of him. I couldn’t get it loose. And his lips were turning blue. His eyes were starting to roll back in his head.”

Kujan says he started to panic. He turned around and noticed a St. Clair County Transit bus in front of him. He stopped the bus and ran to the driver’s window. That’s when driver, Carrie Denton, got out and sprang into action.

“It just hit me. I said is he choking?” said Denton. “He says, :yes ma’am.” So I just, motherly instinct. I just jumped out of the bus. Grabbed him. Held him to my chest. Gave him two pumps. Turned him upside down. Popped him in the back and it came out. I’m the Angel driver but it makes me feel good. There is a God. God put me there at the right time and the right place. And he’s alive.”

Denton credits the St. Clair County Commission with providing CPR to drivers.

Director Jackie Smith said moments like these are why she reminds employees to always be prepared. Smith says Denton is always willing to go over and beyond. She describes her as selfless and says helping others is just who she is.

“It just goes to show that this job can be so much more than driving,” said Smith. “Every day we have the opportunity to make real differences in people’s lives. In this case actually save a life. You can’t get more rewarding than that.”

Kujan plans to stay in contact with Denton. He says he considers her a hero and a new member of their family.

“I started to panic because I knew I was losing him,” says Kujan. “And God sent her to me. I turned around. There she was. So it’s the only answer for it is God. So she’s his Angel. And I’ll say that ‘til the day I die. Anything she ever needs I’m nothing but a phone call away.”

The St. Clair County Commission will honor Denton during their meeting Tuesday morning. Kujan says she deserves all the recognition for saving his little boy’s life.

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