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Teen Receives National Honor For Heroic Actions

By Matt Kroschel

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)- One Steamboat Springs teen is being called a hero for her extraordinary actions in the face of a crisis.

16-year-old Katelyn Ibarra could be called a typical teenager. She raises chickens and plays softball. But it was the way she reacted to a horrible city bus crash that has people calling her a hero.

Katelyn Ibarra (credit: CBS)

Ibarra has been named a 2017 Citizen Honors Award winner by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.

steamboat bus
(credit: Steamboat Springs Pilot and Today)

Ibarra and her parents were headed to dinner when they came across the head-on collision between a Steamboat Springs transit bus and a Ford Explorer SUV.

After calling 911, Ibarra jumped out of the family car, grabbed a first aid bag and climbed through the shattered windshield of the bus.

(credit: Steamboat Springs Pilot and Today)

"There really wasn't a doorway there was just crunched all the way in to the seats and then there was just different metal and glass stuff that was just laying there," said Ibarra.

She worked calmly to help several passengers who were bleeding and in pain. A dozen people were hurt.

CBS4's Matt Kroschel interviews Katelyn Ibarra (credit: CBS)

"The first guy I saw was bleeding pretty bad so I gave him tissues and gauze," Ibarra said. "The lady behind him also had a lot of face blood so I gave her some help, too."

It took several minutes for rescue crews to arrive on scene, Ibarra stayed inside the bus, filled baggies with snow to use as cold packs on the injured. She was the last person off the bus that night.

(credit: CBS)

Ibarra, along with five other heroes, from across the nation will be recognized at a ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on National Medal of Honor Day, March 25.

The teenager is very humble about her actions and credits the way she responded at the crash to her parents and the community she grew up in.

"When you need help it's there and if someone needs help you give it. That's just what we do here," she says.

Ibarra received several honors from the Girls Scouts of Colorado and has been featured for her bravery.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

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