Student earns Lake Villa Life Saving Award

About 8:15 a.m. on Feb. 20, Jeffrey Starck was riding to school with other students on a school bus in Lake Villa when the driver became unresponsive due to a medical emergency.

Starck jumped into action, took the steering wheel and guided the bus off the street onto a front lawn near Oakland Drive and West Grasslake Road. Using the brake, Starck brought the bus to rest in front of a tree, Police Chief Rochelle Tisinai said.

The heroic save earned the high schooler a commendation from Lake Villa police and the village board Monday for his role in averting a potential crisis.

Tisinai and Mayor James McDonald presented Starck with a Life Saving Award.

“It’s rare, something we really save for truly remarkable actions,” Tisinai said. “The entire incident happened in less than 8 seconds. It was remarkable, just his immediate action to take decisive action.

“His quick actions certainly saved the lives of others on the bus,” added Tisinai, calling Starck a “local hero.”

The bus driver was transported to a hospital and was released later that day, she said.

Starck was unavailable for comment.

Lake Villa police chief for nearly three years, Tisinai said she had presented only one previous Life Saving Award, two years ago.

McDonald, in his second term as Lake Villa mayor and active in village government for about 35 years, recalled seeing only three such awards presented.

“In a moment of crisis he demonstrated exceptional courage by risking his own life and safety to save the lives of others,” McDonald said.

McDonald said the presentation to Starck at village hall drew a large, appreciative crowd.

“He should be proud,” McDonald said. “A lot of people panic in the moment of a crisis.”

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.