Boy, 11, killed in school bus crash: 'Today's a sad day for Idaho'

NAMPA, Idaho (KBOI) -- An 11-year-old boy has been killed in a school bus crash south of Nampa, officials say.

Twelve children were on the bus and a total of five kids and one adult were transported to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center with injuries.

"It's horrible," Idaho State Police trooper John Burke said. "It's a terrible thing and the family is devastated --- they need our prayers. We hope they can get through this." | Photos from the Scene

Canyon County Coroner Vicki DeGeus-Morris said the boy killed was Daniel Robert Cook of Nampa.

"Today is a sad day for Idaho," said Tom Luna, Idaho schools superintendent. "Our children are our most cherished treasure. As a father and grandfather, my heart and prayers go out to this child's family, loved ones, the Kuna School District and the entire Kuna community."

The crash occurred at about 7:50 a.m. near Happy Valley and Deer Flat Road. The dump truck was traveling north on Happy Valley while the school bus was driving east on Deer Flat when the collision occurred.

"Although this was a low-speed crash, there was a lot of weight involved, and any impact to little bodies is going to do a lot of damage," Idaho State Police Master Cpl. Tim Davidson said.

ISP says the driver of the school bus was Debra Boatwright, 56, of Kuna and the driver of the dump truck was Charles Derby, 33, of Nampa, and that neither driver was physically injured in the crash.

The bus is from the Kuna School District and was transporting children from Crimson Point Elementary. | Watch Full KBOI-2News report

ISP says the parents of the deceased child have been notified.

"We love them (the family) and we feel their loss and they're certainly in our thoughts," one neighbor told KBOI 2News.

The intersection of Happy Valley and Deer Flat was closed for several hours while police investigated the crash. St. Alphonsus says the children who were taken to the hospital in Nampa have been treated and released. Those taken to St. Al's in Boise are no longer at the facility, but it's unclear whether they are receiving treatment elsewhere.

The school bus and dump truck driver were not injured in the crash, however, ISP said in a news conference, that both are described as being distraught.

"I'm very sad, and I want to cry," Davidson said.

Although the crash is still in the early stages of the investigation, Davidson said charges are likely to be issued.

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter took to Twitter to send his condolences.

"Miss Lori and I send our thoughts and prayers to all those involved in this morning's tragic crash involving a Kuna school bus," he said.

Wendy Johnson, Kuna School superintendent, sent a letter home to parents.

"My heart goes out to the many students, families, and staff that have been impacted by this accident," Johnson said. "We have had a tremendous outpouring of support today from our district counselors, social workers and administrators, from the Ada County Sheriff's's Office, and from local school districts."

The Idaho State Department of Education says the last fatality on an Idaho school bus crash occurred in 1969 at the intersection of Chinden and Glenwood, although the department says its records could be incomplete.

According to the Associated Press, there was a crash in October of 1977 that killed a 15-year-old student in Caldwell.

In downtown Kuna, some residents KBOI talked with had not yet heard of the deadly school bus crash.

"My child's a high schooler," said Deann Deno, a Kuna resident. 'I couldn't imagine. The family. The family."


A memorial account for the Cook family has been established at any Idaho Central Credit Union branch location. Anyone wishing to donate can just ask to have it deposited into the "Daniel Robert Cook."