Dramatic Video From School Bus Was Key Evidence in Fatal Food Truck Crash

Video from a school bus showing a food truck speed by the bus and two children became key evidence in the case of a fatal crash that took place moments later.

Driving a red, converted school bus for his company Dane's Great American Hamburger, Tony Dane ran a stop sign on Evergreen Mills Road in Leesburg about 4:50 p.m. Sept. 8, 2017, police said. He slammed into an Audi station wagon carrying a family of five. Erin Kaplan, 39, was killed. Her teenage son, Ben, her two daughters and her mother also were hurt.

Moments earlier, the food truck roared past a school bus driven by Charity Dokos, who stopped to drop off two students. Dokos slammed on the horn, and those children froze as the food truck nearly hit them.

"Did you see what that was?" Dokos is heard saying on the video. "Oh my God."

As she continued on her route, she came upon something worse: the scene of the fatal crash.

"There is an accident at Evergreen Mills Road," Dokos reported. "The vehicle is one that ran my red lights and almost hit two of my kids."

A recording of investigators interviewing Dane at a hospital revealed he knew his brakes were failing but kept driving until it was too late.

"When I tried to stop my brakes, just went right to the floorboard," he said.

A judge sentenced the owner of the food truck, Tony Dane, to 11-and-a-half years in prison last week.

Others had complained the intersection was dangerous before the crash, and the county will release the results of safety audit to the community next week.

Dokos said she is haunted each time she drives past the intersection.

"It is a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, and I will tell you, both those times during the day, I pray for the people involved," she said.

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