Joe and Randi Thomas want their 6-year-old son’s memory to live on because of how he lost his life. Kasey King was killed in June after the Tri-Valley bus he was riding to school went off the road, hit a utility pole, and flipped.
The Thomas’ say they never thought something like this could ever happen to them. Randi says Kasey was so excited for school that morning because Nashport Elementary was celebrating Field Day. She lathered him with sun-screen, pushed him out the door, and the last thing she saw before the bus drove away was Kasey smiling. 10 minutes later, the accident occurred.
"When the bus went into the ditch and hit the telephone pole, he just became a missile, " says Kasey’s father, Joe Thomas.
Randi and Joe both believe that Kasey would be alive today if he had been wearing a seat belt.
"My concern is the younger children, those buses-when they were made-they were not made for children of his age, " says Kasey’s mother, Randi Thomas.
Randi is referring to kids between the ages of three and five, and while Kasey was six, he only weighed about 45 pounds and was required to be in a kids’ booster seat in a car.
"You get in your car and the first thing your mom tells you is to put your seat belt on. You get on the bus and do whatever, " says Joe.
So the Thomas’ are supporting Ohio House Bill 448, and they want it to be named after Kasey.
"I just can’t imagine not wanting your children to be safe. There’s no amount of money, " says Randi.
They plan to write to all the state representatives, showing their support, and are asking others to do the same.
"Tell them you want it done. Tell them to figure it out. Hopefully nobody has to go through this, " says Joe.
They’ve also spoken with many in the community, getting mixed reviews.
"Most of it is they don’t understand why seat belts haven’t already been on the bus. Then others say it’s not cost effective, " says Joe.
But the issue has touched the lives of many parents across the country…and even the kids, including the Thomas’ three-year-old daughter, who is set to start pre-school this year.
"She doesn’t want to ride the bus…not anymore…she was so excited to ride the bus and go to school…now she says she can’t ride…because she was going to ride with Kasey, " say Randi and Joe.
While they will never get their son back, the Thomas’ say they hope Kasey can help them save other kids’ lives.