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Crash and burn

This postal inspector helped students and drivers after a fiery car-bus collision

A man in a business suit smiles
Capitol Heights, MD, Postal Inspector David Starks Sr.

Capitol Heights, MD, Postal Inspector David Starks Sr. was recently driving on a highway near Washington, DC, when he saw a car crash into the back of a school bus.

Starks safely parked his vehicle and called 911.

While checking on the bus driver and students, he heard a popping sound and saw flames engulfing the front of the crashed car and the back of the bus.

Starks quickly evacuated the students and driver as the bus filled with smoke. He then helped free the trapped driver in the car.

Emergency responders extinguished the blaze and determined that the drivers and students were uninjured.

Starks, however, was taken to a local hospital and treated for smoke inhalation. He was discharged later that day.

“Inspector Starks’ quick thinking and heroic actions that morning saved over 20 middle school children, the school bus driver and the driver trapped inside the burning sedan,” said Ivan Balaguer, a Postal Inspection Service team leader.

Employees featured in “Heroes” receive letters of commendation through the Postmaster General Heroes’ Program. The nomination form is available on Blue.