Incident Updates

Updated on Thu, 10/13/2016 - 1:31pm

For the most up-to-date information on the September 11 bus accident

This page will continue to be updated as we receive more information as it pertains to the bus accident that took place on September 11 involving Legacy High School students and staff. This is a difficult time for many in our community; here is a useful resource when supporting anyone impacted.

Update as of:

Tuesday, September 20 3:00 p.m.

Read a message of thanks from the Adams 12 Five Star Schools Board of Education.

Thursday, September 15 6:00 p.m.

Friday's homecoming football game media plan and media map

Thursday, September 15 12:00 p.m.

Services for Kari Chopper will be held Monday, Sept. 19, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at Crossroads Church - Thornton, 53 E 128th Ave, Thornton, CO 80241. The public may attend, though seating will be limited. 

Tuesday, September 13 7:30 p.m.

Coach Wayne Voorhees and Coach Kyle Rider were released from the hospital today. While they continue in their recovery, they are unable to accept calls or visitors, and we politely ask that you respect the privacy of the coaches and their families. Coach Matt Kroupa continues to receive medical care at the hospital.

Tuesday, September 13 1:00 p.m.

Homecoming Game:

  • Through a collaborative discussion with district and school leadership, football staff, parents and students, the decision has been made that the Legacy High School varsity football team will play its homecoming game on Friday.

    • The game is scheduled for Friday, September 16 at 7 p.m.  at North Stadium against Prairie View High School.

  • The health and safety of the players and coaching staff is the number one priority.

  • 28 total players were on the affected bus, 15 of whom were varsity players.

  • All students on the affected bus are being monitored and evaluated by Legacy High School’s Athletic Trainer who is a member of the Sports Medicine Center at Children’s Hospital of Colorado. Athletes will not play on Friday without being cleared by the Athletic Training staff.

  • Coaching staff confirmed that Legacy football has the depth on their roster to play at the varsity level.

  • Coach Matt Craddock will serve as the interim head coach at this time. He is currently the Defensive Coordinator Coach at Legacy High School and was a former Head Coach at Thornton High School.

  • Our district mental health team also advises that playing the game is an important and necessary step in the recovery of the community, students and staff.

  • The junior varsity game has been canceled.

Support for the Chopper and Coaches’ Families:

  • The support of the Five Star community has been overwhelming and many have asked how they can help - two Go Fund Me pages have been set up to support the Chopper and Coaches’ families:

  • District staff continues to work with those affected by providing resources and supports as necessary.

Monday, September 12 8:00 p.m.

  • Read a letter to the Five Star Community from Superintendent Gdowski on the Legacy High School bus accident. 

Monday, September 12 2:00 p.m.

  • All students who were hospitalized yesterday have been released to their families. The district crisis response team has reached out to all students’ families who were on the affected bus, and have provided supports as necessary. The district crisis team has also provided supports to about 20 additional students at the school as of 1 p.m.

  • The bus driver involved in the bus accident has been confirmed as Kari Chopper.

    • Chopper worked for Adams 12 Five Star Schools for four years and started on July 2, 2012.

    • Per federal regulation bus drivers are required to undergo a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical every two years. Chopper passed her last DOT physical on May 10, 2016.

Monday, September 12 12:30 p.m.

  • Adams 12 Five Star Schools confirms that Wayne Voorhees, Matt Kroupa and Kyle Rider were the Legacy High School coaches transported to the hospital last night with significant injuries. At this time all three coaches remain hospitalized and continue to receive care.

    During this time, we ask that you respect the privacy of the families.

Monday, September 12 10:30 a.m.

  • District crisis team is supporting students and staff at Legacy High School and the Adams 12 Five Star Schools Transportation Center. 
  • District and school leadership are supporting impacted families of students and staff as needed. 
  • Potential adjustments to scheduled activities at Legacy High School will be updated and communicated by noon on Tuesday, September 13. 

Monday, September 12 8:00 a.m.

Early Sunday (September 11) evening a bus carrying members of the Legacy High School football team was involved in an accident. Both the junior varsity and varsity teams were returning home from Denver International Airport after a football game in California.
We extend our thoughts and prayers to everyone impacted by Sunday's accident and offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of our bus driver who tragically passed away. The Denver Police Department continues to investigate the cause of the accident and will provide updates as available.
From what we know, none of the students have critical injuries. Fifteen students were taken to metro area hospitals and most have been released to their families; those remaining are currently in stable condition. Students who were not injured returned to Legacy High School last night and were released to their families.  
Three of Legacy's coaches sustained significant injuries and are being treated at local hospitals. 
Members of our crisis team were available at Legacy High School, at the scene and at the hospital last night. Members of the crisis team continue to be on site at Legacy High School and Adams 12 Five Star Schools Transportation Center this morning to support both students and staff.