BROOMFIELD, Colo. (CBS4) – Legacy High School’s head football coach resumed his role this week after a deadly bus crash left him seriously injured and thanked the community for helping him get back on his feet.
Wayne Voorhees was one of three Legacy High School football coaches that were seriously injured in the crash on Sept. 11.
Voorhees and Kyle Rider were released from the hospital a couple of days after the crash.
Voorhees said he remembered getting on the bus that day and then waking up in a hospital bed, but does not remember the moments before the crash.
“I was just sitting in my seat length-wise,” Voorhees said, adding he was sitting in the one of the bus’s first rows on the right side of the vehicle. “I didn’t have my headphones on at that point, we were just getting going.”
He suffered facial fractures and a concussion. After 2 1/2 weeks, he said he’s ready to return to coaching. Voorhees told CBS4’s Lauren DiSpirito that being back on the field, with his players, is therapeutic for him after the long weeks of recovery.
“Ultimately, it’s about our kids. That was one of the first things that came to mind … and what was I doing in the ER? Those were the first things that came to mind,” said Voorhees.
He also thanked the community for the support during his healing process.
“I appreciate everything that everybody did for us,” Voorhees said. “The outreach period has been outstanding.”
Voorhees is back for practice, two to three hours each day. He plans to coach Friday’s game against Overland High School in Aurora. He has not yet returned to work full time as a P.E. teacher at the high school.
“That’s why most of us are teachers and coaches, it’s about the kids, and it’s been great to get back to them,” Voorhees said.
Coach Matt Kroupa remained in the hospital to recover from his injuries that included a broken hip, broken pelvis and a broken jaw. Voorhees says he is in touch with Kroupa daily and his condition continues to improve.
Authorities continue to investigate the fatal school bus crash that occurred at Denver International Airport. The team had returned from an out-of-state game. Kari Chopper, 43, who was driving the bus, was killed.
Denver Police spokesman Doug Schepman told CBS4 that the bus inspection revealed no mechanical issues with the school bus. Investigators continue to await Chopper’s autopsy results.