NAMPA-- A community is mourning the death of an 11-year-old boy who died after a dump truck hit his school bus on Thursday.
Balloons, stuffed animals, and messages of hope decorated a small signpost near the site of the deadly accident at the intersection of Deer Flat and Happy Valley roads.
That's where Daniel Cook, 11, died on Thursday morning in a violent crash involving his school bus and a dump truck. Idaho State Police say the driver of his school bus pulled into an intersection from a stop sign and was struck by an oncoming dump truck. Officers are investigating exactly how that happened. Criminal charges are pending.
Dozens of rescue vehicles responded to the scene after the terrible accident, and a rescue helicopter was called to try and save Daniel. He passed away at the scene. Four of his classmates were taken to area hospitals with undisclosed injuries.
Daniel's father,Rob Cook approached KTVB's Bonnie Shelton early Friday morning. Cook said he'd learned about a makeshift memorial to his son and the other children hurt in the accident at the crash site and wanted to see it.
The thing that made Daniel so special was that he was confident and he was kind, Rob Cook said. He wasn't one of these kids that [thought] 'I know I'm better than everybody else, I'm going to treat everybody else less.' Daniel was an absolute friend. We spoke with several parents of friends of his, and they're tore up ... When Daniel walked into the room, you knew it was going to be a good time.
Click the play icon above to hear Rob share more about his son and how his family is coping. To watch the interview on the app, go to the video tab.
Cook said his heart goes out the both the bus driver and dump truck driver involved in the accident, saying his family was praying for both.
On Friday morning, it had been nearly 24-hours since the crash happened. Investigators with the Idaho State Police have said it could be several weeks before crash reconstruction is completed.
The Daniel Cook memorial fund has been set up at Idaho Central Credit Union.