Hero bus driver saved teenager’s life by abandoning Hampstead route

James Rossi, 268 bus driver

James Rossi, 268 bus driver - Credit: Archant

A hero bus driver who abandoned his route after a teenager went into an allergic shock in Hampstead has been told he saved the boy’s life.

James Rossi was alarmed when the 17-year-old boarded the 268 bus in Hampstead High Street.

The 38-year-old driver decided that although there were other passengers on the bus, the schoolboy needed urgent help.

Mr Rossi, who has been a bus driver for seven years, drove straight from Hampstead High Street to just before the Golders Green bus stop, completing the journey in half the expected time.

Weeks after last month’s drama, he was contacted by the boy’s mother and told that without his quick-thinking, the teenager would have died.

Mr Rossi told the Ham&High: “I didn’t know it was a life or death situation but I knew it was important, I knew I had to do something.

“His face was bright red and puffy and his eyes were bloodshot and watering, so when he told me he had to get home, I just said no problem, shut the door and off we went.”

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And he continued: “I told the passengers that we were going straight to Golders Green and that I was only dropping off.

“They were all very good about it.”

Although it was clear that the youngster needed his medication, the bus driver said he did not realise how serious his plight had been.

It was only after a call from the boy’s mother, a consultant at The Royal Free Hospital, that the importance of what he had done became apparent.

Mr Rossi said: “After I’d dropped him off, I just thought he’s ok and I carried on with my day, I was really oblivious to how important the issue was.

“According to his mum, if I hadn’t have got him home as quickly as I did, he would have died.”

Soon after the drama, father-of-two Mr Rossi, who lives in Watford, headed to Nepal to work with the Nepal Children’s Trust.

He worked in two remote villages devastated by last April’s earthquake.

Despite the impact of his actions, Mr Rossi insists he is not a hero.

He said: “I’m just doing good deeds and as a good person you should always get involved when you can.”