Elementary school children in Windsor radioed for help.

WINDSOR (AP) -A veteran school bus driver died at the wheel Thursday while driving a busload of students to Windsor Elementary School.

Russell Lambourne, 65, managed to pull the bus to the shoulder of Vigue Road before he died of a medical condition that officials declined to disclose, the Kennebec Journal reported.

Two children used the bus radio to call for help.

Nobody was injured and Lambourne, a school bus driver in Windsor for more than 20 years, was pronounced dead at the scene, said Sgt. Jon Perkins of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department. About 30 students were on the bus.

Administrators at Windsor Elementary School, which houses kindergarten through eighth grade, planned to tell students in their classrooms about Lambourne’s death and send a letter home to parents.

Lyford Beverage, superintendent of School Union 133, said a crisis response team will be convened and counselors available for students.

“This is a very emotional and sensitive experience for the students,” Beverage told the newspaper.

Lucy Mills, who lives on Vigue Road, said the bus drove by her driveway about 7:55 a.m. without picking up the three children waiting there. The bus then stopped about 40 yards down the road.

Mills ran after the bus, helped the children out and brought them into her yard. Two students, later identified as Heather Fish and Jason Garfield, used the bus radio to call for help.

By late Thursday morning, word of Lambourne’s death had spread through the rural town, and the Windsor Convenience Store was offering a “Russ Special” – two hot dogs and a free game of pinball – in memory of him.

“Russ used to come in a lot and he would get two grilled hot dogs and a Diet Pepsi and pump a few quarters in the pinball machine,” employee Meagan Colby said.

On the Net: www.kjonline.com

AP-ES-05-22-03 1954EDT

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