Bus driver saves elderly woman in Lodi

August 30, 2010 3:00:32 PM PDT
A bus driver for a senior center saved one of her passengers by going above and beyond the call of duty.

"I believe everybody has an angel," Reina Alcalde said.

Reina Alcalde is a small woman with a quiet voice and tremendous faith.

She's pretty loyal to her extended family of Lodi senior citizens as she's their regular bus driver.

You should hear what they're saying about her now!

"Very heroic," said one of her passengers.

"Excellent. Heartwarming," said another.

She's also a life saver.

Reina became worried last week when one of her regular customers, 91-year-old Isabelle Ballintine, was not at her living room window, waiting for the seniors bus.

"She's usually waiting, her mail was piling up, I looked at the newspapers piling up, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday," Alcalde said.

She had to get the folks already on her bus to the senior's club, but she and they didn't stop worrying about Isabelle.

"I told her to go back and call police," Marlene Weisner, a Lodi resident, said.

Reina did go back and called Lodi Police and paramedics, and she waited, while police broke in and found Isabelle on the floor, dehydrated, with her phone off the hook.

"Police say she was on the floor for 4 or 5 days," Alcalde said.

"If it weren't for Reina, Isabelle would have stayed on the floor," Marie Trocola, a Lodi resident, said.

"She had brain enough to go back, another day and Isabelle would have died. Thank God," Antoinette Ragno, a Lodi resident, said.

The seniors have been talking to Isabelle, and she's doing better.

Reina says her instincts, and much more kicked in that day that she won't soon forget.

"God gave me a mission, and I did it," Alcalde said.