As New York City mourns those killed in Tuesday’s terror attack, one young resident has been singled out for his resilience.
Noah Salz, 16, was on his way home to Brooklyn when a truck crashed headlong into his school bus. Eight people died and 13 were injured when the truck plowed down a bike path in what authorities say was an ISIS-inspired bid to kill New Yorkers. Sayfullo Saipov, originally from Uzbekistan, is the suspect.
The impact mangled the bus, and sent two of its four passengers to the hospital. A video taken by a passerby shows firefighters working to free those trapped.
Noah’s mother, Kim Salz, said that she first knew something was amiss when she received a call from the high school student on his cell phone.
“His voice sounded scared and shaken,” she told CNN on Saturday. “He said, ‘Mommy, you have to come pick me up from this place.'”
Noah had been sitting on the side of the bus opposite the impact, and was unscathed. Another student on the bus, along with the school bus monitor, underwent surgery after the impact and are expected to make a full recovery, according to New York Public Schools.
Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina held Noah up as an inspiration.
“We all assumed (Noah) would not come back the next day,” she said Thursday. “And what he told his mother is he had to go to school because he was working on 100 percent perfect attendance.”
Salz told CNN that going back to school was indeed Noah’s idea. “I said, ‘You can stay home today’ — he didn’t want to,” she said. “He’s very diligent about getting his work done.”
Salz and her son took the subway to school Wednesday morning.
“He’s starting to digest it,” Salz said of Noah’s recollection of the attack. “He’ll tell me little bits and pieces.”
She added, “It will take us a while to fully comprehend what happened, and how incredibly lucky Noah was.”