Husband remembers bus driver killed in crash

Husband of school bus driver: She was healthy. 9NEWS at 4 p.m. 9/12/16.

THORNTON - Joshua Chopper hasn’t slept since Sunday, when he found out his wife of nearly 23 years, Kari Chopper, crashed her school bus at Denver International Airport and died.

“I’m very anxious to know what happened,” Chopper told 9Wants to Know. “I keep going over every scenario I can in my head to see what happened with my wife.”

Denver Police said Chopper was taking Legacy High School football players from DIA back to campus when she crashed the bus into a pillar. Many students were taken to local hospitals and have since been released, but the team’s coaches remained seriously injured as of Monday.

Chopper says he wishes he could be with the Legacy team right now to support them.

“I’m so sorry to all the Legacy football players,” he said, “the coaching staff Wayne Voorhees, he’s in the hospital, he’s an old friend of mine, I wish I was with him right now at the hospital, holding his hand and telling him it will be ok.”

ORIGINAL STORY: Driver killed after bus of high school football players, coaches crashes

Chopper worked for Adams 12 Five Star Schools for four years and started on July 2, 2012, according to the school system. 

“She would never put anyone in any kind of danger whatsoever,” he said. “She was very loving person she always has been. I just want to know what happened, it’s hard for me not to know.”

Chopper said his wife recently passed a physical to continue to drive the bus for Adams 12. On Monday, the Department of Transportation told 9NEWS, per federal regulation, bus drivers are required to undergo a DOT physical every two years.

Chopper passed her last DOT physical on May 10, 2016.

“My wife was fit as a fiddle,” Chopper said. “She was perfect in every way.”

Chopper talks about his wife like they’re teenagers in love. They have four children together.

He said Saturday night they snuck out of their house at 1 a.m. to have a date in the park nearby. They made breakfast Sunday morning and he took Kari to work.

“My worst fears, my worst everything came true last night,” he said, “we lost not only my wife, my partner, my best friend, my everything, my world, we lost a beautiful soul yesterday. The heavens gained the most beautiful and perfect angel and the best cake decorator in the land.”

Chopper said the couple met after high school and after talking to Kari for one hour, Joshua knew he was going to marry this woman.

“She had this personality, this way about her, she made me feel so comfortable,” he said. “I loved every second that I had with my wife, every second, every day.”

Kari leaves behind her children, a 19-year-old son, 17-year-old twins and a 14-year old son.

“What made Kari happy was family,” Chopper said, “she was more of a family person than I’d ever seen in my entire life. She was always happy. If she were unhappy, you wouldn’t know it.”

A GoFundMe has been set up for Chopper's family here:

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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