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Brothers who helped steer school bus to safety called 'heroes'

Connor and Seamus Collins were on a school bus on U.S. Route 201 in Topsham on Monday when the driver collapsed at the wheel.

TOPSHAM, Maine — It's a moment two brothers will never forget.

Connor and Seamus Collins were on a school bus on U.S. Route 201 in Topsham on Monday when the driver collapsed at the wheel.

"I didn't see him fall. I heard him hit the ground, and then the bus started veering to the right into the ditch," Connor Collins said. 

That's when Connor Collins said he jumped into action.

"I got up and pressed on the break and told my little brother to call 911," he said.

"I was trying to keep everyone calm, tell everyone it was going to be ok, the police are on their way," Seamus Collins said. "I gave one of the other students a hug because he was crying and freaking out because he's never been in a situation like this. Most of them haven't. And when it's in a bus accident, it's very traumatizing."

Unfortunately, the school bus driver, Arthur McDougal, 77, later died at a hospital.

Officials said he experienced a "medical event."

MSAD 75 Superintendent Bob Lucy said in a message to parents, "This is very difficult news to share and process."

"If not for them, we would've maybe responded a little later. So good for them for stepping up and being heroes," Topsham police Officer Jose Gomez said.

He was the first person to the scene.

Gomez and his fellow officer performed CPR and used a defibrillator.

Gomez said the students and first responders did everything they could for McDougall.

"We were able to administer before rescue arrived, and that's what actually helped. Other than officer Sherland's CPR, it helped bring back the patient there," Gomez said. 

Now, the brothers are being hailed heroes on social media with comments like, "Great job!" "Proud of these students!" and "Way to go!"

But the brothers said they don't see themselves as heroes. They just did the right thing.

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