JACKSONVILLE, Ark.(KTHV) - A Jacksonville bus driver was honored Wednesday for her heroic actions following a hijacking that occurred last week on the bus she was driving.
"I'm ready to get back and make my babies safe," said Shelia Hart, a 20-year veteran Pulaski County bus driver.
Authorities said Nicholas Miller hijacked a school bus with 11 children on board and led them on a chase.
"It's hard in the morning to go to the bus stop," said Karlena Lipari, a Pinewood Elementary parent.
Lipari was standing at the bus stop with her daughter and three other children when she said Miller approached them on Thursday.
She said before hijacking Hart's bus, Miller pulled a knife on her at the bus stop and demanded she take him to her car. Lipari said she told Miller she did not own a car. She said the bus soon approached the stop.
"I told my daughter ... to come here and all of the kids came back to where I was and the man continued to cross the street," said Lipari.
Authorities credit Lipari for keeping her daughter and the three children at the bus stop, preventing them from getting on the bus with Miller.
Lipari said she tried to signal to the bus driver that Miller had a knife, but then signaled that she would call police.
"I saw this guy standing next to her. Parents come to your bus stop all the time and they ask questions, so I just assumed he was one of those," said Hart.
Hart said Miller got on the bus and demanded she drive off.
"He flipped the knife out and he said drive," said Hart.
"He even asked me to use my phone and I think he was starting to trust me then," she adds.
Hart said Miller made two phone calls. One to his mother and the other to his father.
"I mean I could tell he was on something, but when he called his mother and told her he had done a shot of meth I was like...." said Hart.
Hart said the chase ended on Highway 5 after authorities threw out spike strips.
Follow Daniel on Twitter @dan_wilkerson.