Lorraine Gobert, 59, was riding on the CCT/Xpress bus with 21 other passengers just before dawn for her morning commute to Atlanta. Gobert, who always sits in the front of the bus, said she had just finished reading her Bible and was quietly saying a morning prayer when the bus "rocked a little bit" on C.H. James Parkway west of Hill Road in southwestern Powder Springs.
"I looked up and saw greenery, green leaves. I looked at the bus driver and his eyes were closed," Gobert said. "I knew I needed to get that bus stopped some kind of way. The bus was driving by itself with a blind man behind it. It was just scary."
Gobert said she was hurled onto the driver.
"God must have gotten me and threw me because he knew I was too slow to get there," said Gobert, who walks with a cane.
After the initial sideswipe with the guardrail, she steered the bus into the direction of the wood line where it came to rest.
Three passengers, including Gobert, and the bus driver were transported to WellStar Cobb Hospital with minor injuries, said Lt. Matt Boyd with Powder Springs Police Department.
The doors couldn't be opened and a witness reported that people were exiting out the windows, Boyd said. He said emergency crews had to remove a portion of the door to let the remaining passengers off.
"It was a little scary for people," Boyd said, "but it wasn't near as bad as it could've been. (Gobert) really did an awesome service. Her primary effort was to put that bus in the safest place."
Gobert said, "We got injured, sure enough, but we can walk away. I'm just happy I'm here."
Being on blood thinners, Gobert said she was terrified the glass would shatter and cut her to pieces. Fortunately she escaped with only bruises.
The accident remains under investigation. Police are unsure why the driver, Victor Dewhart, 50, of Austell, had fallen asleep or lost consciousness at the wheel.