I missed this yesterday, and thought that the rest of us who were fascinated with Jabar "Let's Roll!" Gibson's story during those horrific Katrinia days might be interested.
20-year-old Jabar commandeeed a schoolbus, picked up survivors along the way, and drove it all the way to Houston, where it was the first of the buses to arrive at the AstroDome.
Excerpt:TAKING THE WHEEL
To some he is a thug, but to the 60 people on the school bus he commandeered as Hurricane Katrina's floodwaters rose, Jabar Gibson is nothing short of a hero.
HOUSTON -- Across the street from the Astrodome, in the alcove of a motel where the night manager sits behind bulletproof glass, a young man leaned against a faded stucco wall.
A grin crept beneath his wispy mustache when a stranger approached.
"Do you know who I am?" he asked.
His name is Jabar Gibson.
The first bus to arrive in Houston loaded with Hurricane Katrina evacuees from New Orleans was not operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or any other government authority. It was an Orleans Parish school bus, its driver too young to drink but already a convicted car thief. His cargo: 60 of New Orleans' poorest residents, the youngest a week-old infant and the oldest 59.
It was known as the "renegade bus." Gibson, 20, was its renegade driver.
Gibson acknowledges he stole the bus, although in what has become Katrina lingo, he "commandeered" it to rescue himself and his neighbors. While the storm's floodwaters ultimately did not advance into Algiers, there was no way of knowing that in the chaotic Tuesday morning after the storm. Water was filling up the east bank, Mayor Ray Nagin was on the radio that afternoon predicting several feet on St. Charles Avenue, and panicked residents crossed the bridge to the West Bank, telling tales of impending doom.
"The police was leaving people behind. I had to pick up people on the bus. The police didn't want to do nothing. We stepped up and did what we had to do," said Gibson, who declined to say more because he since has agreed to a movie deal that prohibits interviews. Read On...