updated 8/20/2009 11:52:36 AM ET 2009-08-20T15:52:36

A 16-year-old camp counselor in New York is being hailed as a hero for stopping a school bus carrying nine children, ages 7 to 14, after the driver collapsed behind the wheel and died.

Rachel Guzy, who's 16 but doesn't know how to drive, jumped into the driver's seat and pulled the emergency brake.

"I just did what I had to do," Rachel told the New York Daily News. "Everything went through my mind. I worried about the kids. I worried about the driver. I knew I had to react."

None of the children were injured in the accident that happened Tuesday afternoon in the Flushing section of Queens.

"If not for Rachel, we could have been dead or at the hospital," Artemis Sacramone, 12, a camper at the Magic Carpet Day Camp told the paper.

Police say the 59-year-old bus driver, Ramon Fernandez, was pronounced dead at the scene, apparently of a heart attack.

The bus crashed into a minivan. A matron on the bus was hospitalized for minor injuries.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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