Students, parents thank school bus employees after crash

- An accident left a school bus mangled and students injured earlier this month.

The students all have special needs. On Friday, they joined together to say ‘thanks’ to those who helped them through that scary day.

There were many heroes who helped make sure every student was safe.

The meeting at Oak Park school was filled with hugs and thank-yous. The students recognized first the responders who came to their aid, and then the bus driver and attendant who became their heroes.

Dan Dunn was driving their bus earlier this month. His wife, Chris was on board, acting as an attendant to the students with special needs.

They were minutes away from school when a car pulled out in front of them, hitting them and sending them colliding with a traffic signal.

“It was like a bomb went off. They were crying and bloody," Dan remembers.

"Truthfully, I did want to fall apart at that moment. But smoke started to fill the bus and the first words out of my mind were, ‘We have to get the kids off the bus,’" Chris said.

The couple worked together, pulling each student off the bus and into the arms of good Samaritans who rushed to help.

“Nurses, teachers, neighbors just started coming and they each took a kid and they made sure they were out of harm’s way and they kept them off to the side," Chris said.

Paramedics and EMTs arrived to check and treat each student.

“There was actually 2 CNAs from Sarasota Memorial Hospital that were there as well. They were helping us triage all the kids and I tell you that’s huge. Especially having a large incident like that", mother Sheri Karasick said.

Parents say the Dunns will always have a special place in their heart.

"Even though they were hurt in the accident, to know they were able to still attend to the needs of the kids they are heroes in my eyes," Karasick said.

Luckily no one was seriously injured. Some are still a little sore and healing.

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