Daily Israel Report

Soldiers Thank Heroic Bus Driver: ‘You Saved Us’

Soldiers held a ceremony to honor long-time bus driver Avi Belevsky, whose quick response saved lives during a terror onslaught.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 9/16/2011, 10:50 AM

Egged bus that was fired on.
Egged bus that was fired on.
Channel 1

Soldiers held a ceremony at the IAF base in Uvda this week to honor a civilian bus driver whose quick thinking saved lives. The driver, Avi Belevsky, steered his way out of a terrorist ambush that had targeted his bus, Egged's 392 line. Vehicles that did not manage to escape were completely destroyed.

The ceremony was held in Uvda because many of Belevsky’s passengers on the day of the attack were young soldiers returning from the base.

“I have been driving the 392 line for 25 years, and I never thought I’d be at a ceremony like this,” the 60-year-old Belevsky said at the event. “I never dreamed that I would be a hero and would save 60 passengers’ lives.”

“I hope that I did the best work I could,” he continued. “My goal was to bring the soldiers home healthy and in one piece.”

Another speaker was Anastasia Bagdelov, an IDF medic who treated several of her fellow soldiers who had been wounded by gunfire in the initial attack. She recalled the day of the attack, “Everywhere there was glass, smoke and blood. Out of instinct I yelled out ‘are there wounded,’ and from the other end of the bus they yelled, ‘come here!’”

Bagdelov made her way to the other side of the bus, stopping to treat whoever she could help. She was forced to stop moving and stay with one soldier, who had suffered injuries to both knees. “I couldn’t put on a tourniquet, and I couldn’t release the pressure because blood didn’t stop bursting from his leg,” she said. After the wounded had reached hospitals for treatment, a doctor noted that her actions had saved the soldier’s life, telling her, “If he had lost another fourth of a liter of blood, he would not have survived.”