Taylor Moreau

Taylor Moreau holds her children, Megan and Trystin, in their driveway, as traffic on Highway 25 near Iron Springs passes by.

Daughter's life spared by seconds and inches

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It was a crisp, clear January morning when Taylor Moreau dragged her daughter out of the path of a speeding truck and near certain death.

Her daughter was walking toward a waiting school bus, eager for a day of kindergarten. Her mom’s been haunted by those few seconds ever since.

Taylor’s daughter, Megan, was half-way across the eastbound lane of Highway 25 when both the bus driver and Taylor realized the oncoming cattleliner was not going to stop, despite the bus’s flashing red lights and stop sign. The bus driver laid on her horn, and Taylor lunged forward, grabbing the girl by her backpack and yanking her out of harm’s way.

The rush of air from the truck roaring by knocked the little girl to the ground as it sped away.

There was no fog or snow. Sunrise was an hour away, and the school bus’s brilliant white strobe light cut through the darkness along the pin-straight stretch of highway. There was no excuse, Taylor says, for what the driver did. The penalty for passing a bus when it’s stopped with its red lights flashing can be $402 and six demerits.

The plucky kindergarten student, nicknamed “Mother Goose” for her nurturing manner, had no concept how close she’d come to disaster, and she insisted on boarding the bus for school like it was any other day.

Taylor spent the rest of the day at home, overwhelmed with tears of shock, fear and anger. She shares her story with friends and encourages them to spread the word about bus safety.

“I saw my child almost die in front of my eyes,” she says. “It’s something I’ll never forget.”

Megan’s father, Tom, called police to report what happened. Later, police were contacted by the driver, confessing what he’d done. The Moreaus have never heard from him.

“I’d like to know if he has children, and if so, how would he feel if he had to watch his child die in front of his eyes. . . Has he had a nightmare about what happened? Has he ever had a second thought about it? We think about it almost every day.”

Megan, who’s about to start Grade 1, will be joined on the school bus this fall by little brother Trystin as he starts kindergarten. As their mom relives her memories of the day, the kids are content to play with their pets and show off their skills with numbers and letters.

It’s these little moments with her kids that are all the more precious as a result of that driver’s recklessness.

“Every day I wake up and see she’s learned something new or she’s made a new memory,” Taylor says. “She’s growing into her own person, and that almost didn’t happen.”

Originally published in August 2012