Skip to main content

ATU Heroes Go Above and Beyond

From helping lost children to handling unexpected challenges and providing assistance to those in need, ATU members often go above and beyond the call of duty and play an indispensable role in keeping their communities moving. Their unwavering commitment, tireless efforts, compassion, and dedication to their job make them our heroes. These are a few of their stories.


Avoiding Major Tragedy in Head-on Collision

Only a member since January 1, 2023, Local 1765-Olympia, WA, Brother Jose Gamboa is being praised for his heroic actions when his bus was involved in a head-on collision. A vehicle traveling 55 mph crossed the center line and headed for his bus. Thanks to his evasive actions behind the wheel, Brother Gamboa avoided a major catastrophe, undoubtedly saving lives as only a few of his passengers suffered minor injuries.

“We applaud our Local 1765 Brother Gamboa for his quick thinking and bravery to prevent a real tragedy,” said ATU International President John Costa. “He is a true hero for saving many lives that day. His unwavering dedication to the well-being of others is extraordinary. On behalf of the ATU, we want to thank him for being a shining example of what our members are made of.” 


Giving a Mother Peace of Mind 

A bus driver for 27 years, Local 1577-West Palm Beach, FL, Sister Marsha Solomon knows her regulars and keeps an eye out for them. Earlier this year, a distraught mother, Ladi March-Goldwire, desperately posted on Facebook looking for her mentally ill son who would go missing for weeks at a time. Solomon instantly recognized March-Goldwire’s son from him riding her bus almost every day and giving him water. She responded to the post that her son was OK, bringing relief to the worried mother.

In March, March-Goldwire appeared before county commissioners to report Solomon’s good deed and to commend her. In June, the county issued a certificate of appreciation for her efforts. March-Goldwire’s son was in the hospital on the day Solomon was recognized, but he wanted to thank her for her kindness. “Thank you for the water,” he said to his mother.

Solomon said she’s not alone in her kindness, and there are other drivers looking out for their riders too. “Being a mom of two sons, I know what it is like to worry about them. When he came on my bus the next time after I saw the post, I wanted her to know he was OK. We can all make the world a better place if we just look out for one another,” said Solomon.

An Emergency Delivery of a Baby

Over the July 4th holiday weekend, our Local 1310-Eau Claire, WI, Brother Jerry Melsness, Local Financial Secretary Daniel White, Local Vice President Josh Sudbrink, and Brother Roger Beaver delivered a baby at a transit center under very stressful circumstances.

After the passenger’s water broke, our members sprang into action, keeping their composure and cool heads with limited medical supplies and a call into 911. When the baby came out, the umbilical cord was wrapped around its neck, the amniotic sac was still over its head, and the baby was not breathing. With emergency services on the line helping our heroic members, the baby, and the mother survived the ordeal. 

“Our entire Union and I are proud to call them our fellow ATU members,” said International President Costa. “What an amazing miracle! Their actions under pressure serve as a reminder of the extraordinary challenges our members face every day on the job and how heroic our members are in serving their communities under such circumstances.”