The Idaho Transportaion Department released its findings regarding the fatal bus accident on December 5, 2013, that killed Kuna sixth grader Daniel Cook. Debra Boatright, 56, the driver of the school bus, had stopped at the stop sign on Deer Flat Road but pulled out into the path of the dump truck driven by Charles Samuel Derby, 33, who was heading north on Happy Valley Road. Derby did not have a stop sign at the intersection.
According to the report, the dump truck struck the bus near the right rear axle. Boatright lost control of the bus and spun around. Derby ran off the road to the north of the intersection before his truck stopped.
Daniel Cook, 11, a student at Crimson Point Elementary, was pronounced dead at the scene. The report says no other factor contributed to the accident other than Boatright’s failure to yield to oncoming traffic prior to entering the intersection.
Idaho State Police did report at the scene that Derby’s 1974 Mack truck did have multiple equipment violations. It was also reported that Derby had used marijuana but did not say whether he was under the influence of the drug that morning.
Four other children were hurt, most seated close to Cook. There were a total of 12 students on the bus that morning.
Both drivers were given blood tests for toxicology screenings but those results are not expected for a couple of weeks according to Teresa Baker, spokesman for the Idaho State Police.
No charges have been filed as yet. Canyon County Prosecutor Bryan Taylor will decide if charges will be filed against either driver pending the toxicology test results.