By Jeff Truesdell Nicole Weisensee Egan
May 26, 2014 12:00 PM

BETTYE WINDOM AND BETH INSLEY do everything together – even save lives. Windom, 24, was driving her brand-new car back from the lot with Insley on April 30 when they spotted a school bus trailing white smoke at a four-way stop in Georgetown, Miss. Windom, a postal worker, honked and gave chase while Insley, 29, a nurse, frantically waved her arms. Racing ahead on the two-lane road, Windom screeched to a halt in front of the bus. Seeing sparks, she leaped out of her car and screamed, “Get off the bus!”

Rousted by three chaperones and the driver, the 21 Port Gibson High School seniors fled through the rear emergency door and ran. A few minutes later, “it went boom,” says chaperone and school librarian Chelshe Archie of the fiery explosion still under investigation. “I don’t feel like a hero,” says Windom, a sentiment Insley echoes: “It’s basic human behavior if you have good parents.” Student Keonna Goods, 18, sees it differently. “They saved everybody’s life,” she says. “Yeah, they’re heroes.”