A child who survived the crash now drives a school bus. He is one of many whose lives unfolded in surprising ways.
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School bus driver Duane Harms begins his morning route on Dec. 14, 1961.
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A TYPICAL MORNING
Children board the bus and choose seats — a life-or-death decision.
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ON THE CUSP
In the nation, in Colorado and in the farming community of Auburn, 1961 was a time of great change.
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An explosive collision kills 20 children, and grief descends on Auburn.
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The Fords turn to family, faith and horses as they learn how to live without Jimmy, the oldest boy.
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Juanita and Art Larson's memories of their lost son fill them with joy.
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Prosecutor Bill Bohlender questions Duane Harms, and a court hearing is held without the bus driver.
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Did Duane Harms stop at the crossing? His manslaughter trial tries to answer that question.
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Though Duane Harms is acquitted of manslaughter, he lives in such fear that he moves his family to California. But most people remember him fondly.
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Sisters Colleen Yetter Lackey and LaDean Yetter Long didn't lose any relatives in the crash, but they grieved deeply over lost friends.
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Less than two months after losing Mark and Kathy in the crash, the Brantner family faces another tragedy.
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Two dark-haired, brown-eyed girls — Luis Lozano's sister and daughter — shape his life and his faith.
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Two men who loved 8-year-old April Melody Freeman view her death through different lenses.
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Alice Larson Richardson could not escape reminders of Dec. 14, 1961.
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Glen Ford finds himself driving a school bus 45 years after surviving the train-bus crash that killed his older brother.
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Duane Harms didn't change his name or kill himself.
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The Paxtons and the Heimbucks both lost their only two girls in the crash.
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Bob Brantner, who lost two siblings in the bus crash and a brother in a car accident two months later, is accused of killing his wife in 1992.
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Engineer Herbert F. Sommers is at the throttle of a train in another deadly crash in Adams County.
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Jerry Hembry, the oldest student on the bus, pushes forward through Vietnam, an ugly divorce and a chemical explosion that maims him.
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Vicky Munson Allmer and her brothers survived the bus crash, but later losses in life nearly engulfed her.
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Bob Brantner goes on trial for the murder of his wife. She died on the anniversary of the bus crash.
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IN THE SHADOWS
Bus driver Duane Harms recounts the failing mental health of his wife and the ordeal of committing her to an institution.
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Sometimes what's most surprising is what people don't go through after a tragedy.
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Jack Mitchell never recovered from the death of his adopted daughter, Sherry, while the girl's mother moved forward but struggled through adversity.
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NEVER SAY NEVER
Cheryl Brown defied a doctor's prediction that she would never walk again.
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A CHRISTMAS WISH
Nancy Alles ended up in a body cast after the accident, but she wouldn't give up on being home for Christmas.
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Four women born after the accident have only stories and mementos of their siblings who died in 1961.
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FILLING THE VOID
A grandson comes to live with the Smocks, giving them the joy of a boy in the house after losing their son in the crash.
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Carolyn Baxter Tucker credits a judge who sent her to reform school for saving her life in many ways.
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Time changes everything for some people and nothing for others.
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Those touched by the tragedy move their lives forward in different ways.
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The story of the bus crash in Greeley has opened a path to healing for many families affected by the tragedy.
Content associated with The Crossing series — including follow-up stories and news about the series.
2007 © Rocky Mountain New Archives, Western History Collection, Denver Public Library