Residents in the Utah County town of Elk Ridge say one of their school bus drivers is a hero after a very close call at a bus stop.

A driver who was not paying attention to a school bus stop sign could have seriously injured or even killed a little girl if not for the actions of bus driver Curtis Going.

Life is often easier when you do something you love. That’s why, for six years now, Going hasn’t minded those early morning wake-up alarms.

“It was supposed to be a temp job for me,” Going said with a laugh.

He drives a bus for the Nebo School District and loves getting to know the kids and hearing all the fun things they have to say.

“The kids are amazing. They really are. They’re a lot smarter than you think,” he said. “But yet they tell some funny stories that come from home whether it’s embarrassing or not.”

As much as he loves driving a school bus, though, there’s one story from earlier this month he can’t get out of his mind.

It involves one of the students who had just stepped off his bus and the driver of a silver car who, for some reason, ignored the flashing red lights and stop sign that extends out from the side of the bus.

“She’s getting ready to cross the road and I look over in my mirror and I see this car coming up pretty quick and I realize he’s not stopping,” Going said.

Going knew he had to do something. He stuck his arms out the driver’s side window and honked his bus horn.

The girl’s mother lives across the street and heard the bus horn, too.

“I came running out and I knew she was in danger. That honk, I knew she was in danger,” Allison Dawn said.

I came running out and I knew she was in danger. That honk, I knew she was in danger. — Allison Dawn, girl’s mother

That honk was enough to make her daughter jump back, missing the passing car by inches.

“It was a close call. Maybe too close,” Going said.

Whoever was driving that car swerved at the last second, but kept going.

“Didn’t even stop. I don’t even know what to tell,” Dawn said. “I don’t know what to say about it, to be honest.”

However, her daughter was safe.

The next day, people in the Elk Ridge neighborhood who live near the bus stop gave Going a big thank you.

“I put it on our community page, and we had 30 to 40 people out here with a great big sign, ‘you’re our hero,’” Dawn said. “He saved my daughter’s life.”

Going is just happy the girl wasn’t hit. “Everything turned out OK,” he said.

He still loves the job and loves the kids. He just wishes these close calls weren’t happening so often.

“Just get rid of the distractions and pay attention to your driving,” Going said. “It’s an everyday occurrence. This is not just once a week or once a month, this is every single day.”