A New Jersey teacher with an injured ankle heroically raced into a moving, unmanned SUV — stopping it just before it hit a group of students, amazing new video shows.
Surveillance footage from Wednesday — the first day of school — shows a dad jumping out of his white SUV to give his daughter an iPad she left behind at dropoff at Soehl Middle School in Linden, NJ.com said.
After he ran off, the unattended SUV started rolling straight toward more than a dozen children waiting outside the building, the video shows.
As the dad raced back to try to stop his vehicle from the front, phys ed teacher Valerie Tauriello raced round to hop inside and stop it — even though she had a supportive boot on her left leg.
“It was a situation where a lot of people could have become injured,” Tauriello told NJ.com.
“Without hesitation, I just had to jump into action and stop that moving car from running into the school or injuring the kids,” she said.
“It was very hard jumping into a moving car. I never realized that would be a difficult task,” she told the local outlet.
She said because of her ankle injury she initially tried calling out to the car owner — but soon “figured I’m the only one who can get to this car.”
“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.”
Principal Gwendolyn Long praised the teacher, saying she “did not hesitate to risk her life to save our students.”
“This is the person she is,” Long told NJ.com. “The Soehl Middle School family is just blessed to have her.”