The heroism of a New Jersey teacher was caught on tape last week. The video shows the brave teacher as she saved a group of students from certain injuries; as an unmanned SUV headed straight for them Wednesday morning. The brave teacher’s quick thinking and heroism prevented a possible tragedy; even while she herself was healing from an injury when the incident occurred.
The harrowing moment took place at a New Jersey middle school. As students and faculty were preparing for their first day back after summer vacation.
Moments Away From Tragedy
The shocking footage shows a father pulling up to the school in a white SUV, stopping it in front of a group of teachers. And just a few yards from a group of students.
The students, who had gathered before classes began at the Liden New Jersey middle school, were unaware of the vehicle as it pulls up.
The dad hops out of the white SUV. He heads towards his daughter to deliver an iPad that was left behind by his student at drop-off that morning.
However, the vehicle wasn’t properly stopped, video shows. And we can see the group of teachers as they notice as the unmanned SUV begins rolling towards the group of more than a dozen children.
Immediately, Valerie Tauriello, a physical education teacher at the school sees the danger and springs into action.
A New Jersey Teacher’s Heroic Act
The video shows the SUV’s owner racing back to the vehicle just as Tauriello, who was wearing a supportive boot on her left leg, raced around to the front of the SUV and jumped inside.
“Without hesitation, I just had to jump into action and stop that moving car from running into the school or injuring the kids,” the brave teacher told NJ.com of the incident. “It was a situation where a lot of people could have become injured.”
The brave teacher notes that, because of her injury, she first tried to get the attention of the owner. Before attempting to jump in and stop the SUV.
However, she soon realized there was little time to spare.
“It was very hard jumping into a moving car,” Tauriello said. “I never realized that would be a difficult task,” she told the local outlet.
Soehl Middle School Principal Gwendolyn Long praised the brave teacher, stating that the school is thankful that Tauriello “did not hesitate to risk her life to save our students.”
Tauriello says that she simply did what she had to do. Although, she was surprised how fast she was able to move with her injured ankle as she ran to the vehicle and jumped inside, stopping it in its tracks.
“I know I can’t run that fast, so at first I was kind of frozen,” she said. “But I was like, oh my God, I have to stop this car or it’s going to hurt somebody.”