Pleading for Seat Belts

by Emily Baird on September 20, 2010 at 6:25 am

Joe and Randi Thomas are reliving the tragic events that unfolded last June. Their son, Kasey King, was killed when the Tri-Valley School Bus he was riding went off the road, hit a pole, and overturned. The Thomas’ says Monday morning’s crash is fueling them to get seat belts on school buses.

"I hope this is enough before something else happens," says Randi.

Randi had dropped the kids off at daycare Monday morning and was driving along State Route 146 to go to her classes at Zane State College. That’s when she passed a scene that seemed all too familiar. She says it was so painful that she had to pull off the side of the road to gain her composure.

"Did anything happen to these kids? Were they ok? Would seat belts have helped any of those children if they were hurt in any way, " says Randi.

This bus accident is once again bringing up the issue of seat belts on school buses. Joe and Randi believe their son would still be alive today if he had been wearing a seat belt.

"I hope it will help people understand that accidents do happen, whether it is a school bus or not, whether it’s a school bus driver’s fault or not. Those kids still need to be protected no matter what, " says Randi.

They also say the school district has an obligation to look after these kids.

"The parents are responsible for getting the kids to the bus stop safely and making sure they obey the rules-obey the rules when they get on the bus. After that, the school district and the bus driver become responsible, " says Joe.

Randi has written to state representatives, asking that they pass House Bill 448, which hasn’t even made it to the floor yet. She’s also asking that they name it after Kasey in hopes that her son can save the life of another child.

"They’re the only thing we have left on this earth that’s worth more than your life itself, " says Randi.

WHIZ tried to sit down and speak with 92nd District State Representative Troy Balderson on House Bill 448. While he couldn’t meet for an interview, he did say that two bus accidents happening in the same school district in four months isn’t normal, and he says he hopes when the state legislature is back in session that the bill moves to the House floor relatively quickly.