DENTON — The Caroline County Board of Education at its meeting Tuesday, Aug. 6, recognized two bus drivers who recently retired with a combined 90 years of safely transporting Caroline County students.
Fred Brummell drove for the school system from 1961 to 2019, a 58-year span, and May DeFord did so from 1987 to 2019, a total of 32 years.
Brummell said his bus-driving career began three years earlier, in 1958, when he was 16, and he started driving a route for the former John N. Wright Jr. cannery, between Preston and Federalsburg, taking workers to and from home.
In 1961, Brummell said, Caroline County Public Schools appointed its first supervisor of transportation, and Brummell was that supervisor’s first hire.
Carmen Milligan, current supervisor of transportation, thanked Brummell for so many years of safe driving, and said she hoped he would consider substituting.
Milton Nagel, assistant superintendent for administrative services, said Brummell had an unparalleled safety record over his more than six decades of driving.
The only collision Brummell had while driving the bus happened when it was empty, Nagel said.
Brummell was on his way to North Caroline High School for his afternoon route, when he had the presence of mind to check as he pulled forward on a green light to turn off Federalsburg Highway onto state Route 404.
A tractor-trailer ran its red light on Route 404, Nagel said. Brummell got the bus stopped in time so the tractor-trailer only hit the nose of the bus.
“It took off the front of the bus, but it didn’t take him,” Nagel said.
DeFord was not able to attend the Aug. 6 meeting.