RADCLIF (AP) — When Quinton Higgins bought a bus last month, his family thought he was crazy.
But Higgins told The News-Enterprise that he had a calling to fulfill.
The 42-year-old Hardin County school bus driver, who survived the horrific 1988 bus crash in Carrollton that killed 27, says he felt God wanted him to buy the vehicle. He plans to use it as a memorial to crash victims and as a reminder to not drink and drive.
“It took me six months to listen to God’s voice to do it,” Higgins said. “I wanted to take my time.”
Higgins was among 67 people on the church bus from Radcliff that was hit by a drunken driver in what remains the nation’s deadliest alcohol-related highway crash.
He said he first thought of purchasing a bus about a year ago, but put the thought aside and decided if it was in God’s plan he would somehow know.
A friend found a bus on sale by a pastor in Lexington who used to be a DUI class instructor. Although he saw them as signs, it took some encouragement from his eldest daughter before he made the purchase.
The bus is the same model as the one he was riding in when the crash occurred as the church group returned from a trip to King’s Island.
“The best time of my life turned into the worst day of my life,” he said. “I was angry at God for a long time. People were telling me, ‘God has a plan for you’ and I was like, ‘Dude, for what?’”
Now that Higgins has the bus, he has adorned it with pictures of the victims along with a sign that says, “27 reasons not to drink and drive.”
He says he plans to use it for demonstrations during speaking engagements.
His eldest daughter, Sharyl Higgins, said the idea at first seemed crazy to the family, but she is proud of her father for sharing his story.
“The things my dad is doing with the bus is amazing,” she said. “It’s taking a big step of faith.”