Whitesburg KY

20th anniversary of teen’s heroism

It has been 20 years since a Whitesburg High School student saved the lives of four elementary school students.

Derek Cook, who was 15 at the time, was waiting for a school bus near US 119 at Mayking with four elementary school students on Nov. 16, 1992. The bus was stopped with three cars behind it when a loaded tandem coal truck came fast down the mountain and veered off the road to pass on the shoulder.

Cook noticed that the coal truck was coming toward the students and pushed the students into the stairwell of the bus and then jumped on the bus, too. The coal truck drove by barely missing the children.

Cook was publically recognized for his heroism by the Letcher County Board of Education and was also featured in a Louisville Courier- Journal article.

Cook, the son of Frances and Ronnie Cook of Mayking, is an electrical mine inspector for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

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