BOISE-- Dan Sperry lost his step-daughter in a tragic accident when a driver failed to stop after a school bus put its arm out. Now, he travels around the West at the start of the school year to teach others about school bus safety.
In 2011, days before Christmas, Sperry's family changed forever. He says he was waiting for his step-daughter, Makayla, to arrive home from a Wyoming middle school's dance on an activities bus. An accident kept Makayla from ever coming home again.
Eleven-year-old Makayla had been hit by a vehicle that illegally passed the stopped school bus.
"She died in our front yard," Sperry said. "We had to write her eulogy on Christmas Eve."
Sperry now works to improve student safety. He shares Makayla's story and empowers student transportation professionals to understand how their choices, training and reactions impact school bus safety.
"The reason school buses are on the road is to transport kids safely from their homes from school to their home," said Sperry.
Sperry also says teaching drivers to focus while behind the wheel will help keep this tragedy from happening to another family.
"We need to teach drivers to focus on what's important now. When they are driving, they need to focus on driving."