Father of Nampa boy killed in school bus crash: 'I'm here to say that you can go on'

A memorial stands at the site of the Kuna School Bus crash three years ago that claimed the life of Daniel Cook, 11. (KBOI photo)

For Rob Cook, the weather served as a reminder -- not that one is ever needed -- of what happened on this December day three years ago.

"I went out to start the truck this morning and it was 19 degrees," he said. "Just so happened that it was 19 degrees when we got down to the the crash scene three years ago. It's amazing how you remember the little details."

Rob's son, Daniel, at age 11, the youngest of nine children, was killed when his Kuna school bus collided with a dump truck at Happy Valley and Deer Flat Roads...just a few hundred yards from the family's home.

"And we miss our son terribly," Rob said, standing outside the shop where he works at home as a welder. "And we really, really wish this hadn't happened. We continue to heal. Today is a really tough day. I thought I was going to do OK, but I've already shed some tears this morning."

The bus was carrying 12 children to Crimson Point Elementary. Several other children were injured.

Since that day, Rob Cook and his wife Robin have focused on the beauty of Daniel's young life, not how it ended.

"I heard somebody say after Daniel died, tragedy makes you better or bitter. My wife and I have chosen to become better from it."

And the Cooks reach out to other members of the community who have lost children.

"I'm here to say that you can go on," Rob said. "I'm not going to say it's been pleasant, there's been a lot of tears, a little anger, but there's been a lot of faith."