Massachusetts auto tech student helps fix broken down school bus on side of the road

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DANVERS – A high school student took matters into his own hands when he spotted his school’s bus broken down on the side of the road and it’s a moment he’s been preparing for his whole life.

The school bus broken down on the side of a highway wasn’t there for long. But it was a student, not a seasoned mechanic, who helped fix it.

Putting his skills to work

“Right here is that serpentine belt that snapped on the other bus,” said Gavin Natti, a junior at Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School in Danvers. Natti happens to be a part of their automotive program. On Wednesday, he was on his way home from the doctor when he noticed the familiar school bus in trouble.

“The bus had overheated. I saw that it was my bus driver, surprised seeing one of his students,” said Natti.

Natti’s training then took over.

“We lifted up the hood and I saw that serpentine belt that runs the water pump, it runs the fan, everything to make that bus run and stay running was basically torn in half,” said Natti.

“A model student and a good citizen”

The school’s head bus mechanic, Jay Weaver, was notified of the breakdown but told to stand down.

“My dispatch told me about the student on scene and she was pretty excited for him to give it a try. So I said, ‘Alright, I’ll give him a little bit,'” said Weaver.    

Natti scrambled to find a replacement part but was unlucky. That’s when Weaver stepped in, bringing a new belt from the school’s autobody shop and together, they finished the job.

And it’s a good thing Gavin helped fix the bus because the next morning, he had to ride the bus to school. A school proud to have a student like Natti.

“We teach everything from brakes, suspension, to check engine lights,” said teacher Brooks Clarke. “The education the students receive here allows them to go directly out into the workforce. Gavin exemplifies what it means to be a model student and a good citizen.”

Natti said he hopes to start his own automotive business when he graduates.

“I just like to help as many people as possible,” said Natti.

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