Last student injured in fatal Chesterfield bus crash leaves hospital

Posted: March 15, 2012

The last student to remain hospitalized following a Burlington County school bus crash last month that killed a classmate was to be moved to a rehabilitation facility on Wednesday, according to a Cooper University Hospital spokeswoman.

Sixth grader Jonathan Zdybel, 11, had been at Cooper in Camden since he was seriously injured in the Feb. 16 crash of the bus and a dump truck in Chesterfield Township.

Jonathan left Cooper around noon, the spokeswoman said.

His next stop was to be Nemours/Alfred I. du Pont Hospital for Children, according to a post by his family on the "Prayers for the Zdybels" Facebook page. A spokeswoman for the Wilmington hospital said he couldn't be found on the patient roster Wednesday afternoon.

Jonathan's parents could not be reached on Wednesday.

Killed in the accident was Isabelle Tezsla, also 11. Her triplet sisters, Sophie and Natalie, were seriously hurt and also taken to Cooper. Fourteen children suffered minor injuries.

Natalie went home on Feb. 22 and Sophie was transferred to a rehab facility last week. The girls' father is Anthony Tezsla, a New Jersey state trooper.

The bus was headed to Chesterfield Elementary when it crashed at the intersection of Route 528 and Old York Road, not far from the school. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash, a probe that could take a year.

Authorities cited the bus driver this week for failure to stop or yield after he inched past a stop sign for a better view. The dump truck driver also received summonses this week - for failure to secure the vehicle's container and failure to cover his load with a tarp, the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office said.

Herman's Trucking of Wrightstown, which owns the truck, was cited for several mechanical issues - inadequate braking, exceeding the tire weight limit, and exceeding the maximum carrying weight by more than two tons, authorities said.

The 2004 Mack truck was loaded with asphalt. Herman's Trucking has declined to comment.

Neither driver has been charged criminally and the results of toxicology tests are pending.

In the Facebook posting, the Zdybel family thanked the Cooper staff.

"It isn't often you find people as dedicated and special as you. People who go out of their way to make things better for children, people who take time to care," the post said.

Cooper commented on the post, saying: "We cannot be more thankful to help Jonathan in his journey to recovery. Thank you for the touching words - we'll be sure to share this with our staff :)."


Contact Darran Simon at 856-779-3919 or dsimon@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @darransimon.

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