Bus driver who died in crash at airport remembered for her giving, compassion

THORNTON, Colo. -- The community remembered the life of the driver who died in the Legacy High School bus crash.

Kari Chopper's family and friends held a funeral for her Monday night at Crossroads Church. The 43-year-old was a wife, mother of four and friend to so many people.

There were a lot of tears and her children spoke about their mother. They talked about the beautiful woman she was and how she was known by so many for her giving and compassionate heart.

Chopper was a Little League baseball coach, a baker and a driver for the Adams 12 School District.

On Sept. 11 she was behind the wheel when the school bus hit a concrete pillar at Denver International Airport. Members of the Legacy High School football team and some of their coaches were on the bus.

The team was returning home from a game in California.

Three coaches were seriously hurt. Two have been released from the hospital and one is still hospitalized.

Chopper's children thanked the community Monday night for helping them get through the loss of their mother.

"I just want to say thank you for all of your support and everything you have done and keeping us who we are after a terrible loss. A thousand words can`t say enough," one of her sons said.

After the service, everyone gathered outside the church to release blue and gold balloons, the school colors for Legacy High School.

Everyone yelled "I love you, Kari," as they let go of the balloons.

Her husband said after the crash that she didn't have any medical problems. The investigation into what caused her bus to crash continues.