King County Metro bus driver Mark George didn’t hesitate when two people in a burning car needed his help.

On the evening of May 12,  George was driving his usual route near the Eastgate Park-and-Ride when an oncoming vehicle lost control while turning and collided with the side of his bus. The car ricocheted into a boulder wall and caught fire. George quickly checked on his passengers and rushed to the other vehicle with a fire extinguisher. He doused smoke rising from the engine and helped pull two people from the vehicle, including a woman and 7-month-old buckled into an infant seat.

George recently was honored with a Metro “HERO Award” award for his actions. The award, reserved for employees who go above and beyond the call of duty, was presented during a ceremony at the Bellevue transit base where he works.

“Mark George represents the best of what we do at King County Metro,” General Manager Rob Gannon said. “We strive to provide excellent customer service and we rise to the moment when needed to help others in an emergency or a crisis. I thank Mark for his service and commitment to the people of King County.”

A Chicago native, George joined Metro in 2011 after working as a delivery driver for Amazon. The veteran driver was already a hero to many of his passengers. In October 2017, he was named “Employee of the Month” and has earned a dozen commendations for being personable, extremely courteous, and a “steady hand in crazy traffic.”

On the night of the collision, George made sure the people involved were okay and then directed traffic around the scene at 140th Avenue Southeast and Southeast Eastgate Way until first responders arrived. Then he went right back to work to finish his shift.

George has two teenage sons and when he is not driving the bus, he enjoys football, basketball and hunting.