Bus driver to be honored for saving woman from dog attack

Mar 22, 2023, 8:20 AM

The Utah Transit Authority will honor a bus driver Wednesday morning for saving the life of a pedes...

FILE: UTA's Opus bus. A bus driver will be recognized for rescuing a pedestrian from a dog attack. A ceremony will take place Tuesday, March 22. 2023. (Keith Johnson)

(Keith Johnson)

SALT LAKE CITY —  The Utah Transit Authority will honor a bus driver Wednesday morning for saving the life of a pedestrian in distress. 

The UTA Board of Trustees will honor bus operator Nick Pappas at its meeting at 9 a.m. The driver saved the life of a pedestrian being attacked by two large dogs.

Pulled to safety

The attack happened earlier this month. Pappas reportedly pulled over his bus on Cougar Lane in West Valley City to help the victim, Marissa Bowen.

According to a press release, Pappas got the dogs to back away just long enough to guide Bowen to the safety of his bus.

Bowen told first responders that she stopped her car to try and get the two Rottweilers out of the busy street. She said she intended to put them in her vehicle for their safety.

However, the dogs reportedly became aggressive and attacked Bowen.

Bowen told first responders that the bus driver saved her life.

“I know he (Nick Pappas) scared off the dogs for a moment so I could get on the bus,” she said. “If he hadn’t stopped, I’m sure I would be dead or close to dead, and that I wouldn’t get to see my little boy grow up.”

According to the UTA, the dogs were not microchipped and did not have collars or tags. Additionally, UTA reported one of the dogs charged the bus, breaking a windshield wiper.

Salt Lake County Animal Control officers restrained and transported the animals to a shelter.

UTA spokesman Carl Arky said Salt Lake County has identified the owner of the dogs and is working with them.

 Pappas is a highly decorated driver who has been with UTA for 25 years. The meeting will be held at UTA headquarters at 669 West 200 South in Salt Lake City.

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Bus driver to be honored for saving woman from dog attack