A man who died in a crash Monday in Wayne County drove a school bus in the Western Wayne School District for at least a decade.
Bus 6 was Richard Wyckoff’s both mornings and afternoons during the school year. After Wyckoff passed away this week after an ATV crash near Newfoundland, someone else is now behind the wheel.
Kurt Caruth, owner of the bus company that transports students for Western Wayne, said that Wyckoff, who is from the Newfoundland area, hardly missed a day of work in about ten years.
“It’s a sad day to start the school year, being the day before the start of school,” said Caruth.
By all accounts, Wyckoff was more than just a bus driver. He was a mentor and someone who watched out for the kids whether it was on the way to school in the morning on a snowy, slick winter day, or on the way home after a long school day.
“It’s a huge responsibility. You’re talking the weather here, rain, blizzards, snow, sleet. These men and women take our babies and precious cargo and deliver them back and forth safely every day,” said Shari Tirado.
Tirado’s kids didn’t know their bus driver passed away until they got on the bus for the first day of school.
“It hit us all really, really hard. Rick’s been driving my children for over 10 years now. He was such a sweet, sweet man. My children loved and respected him,” she said.
Wyckoff was 69 years old and many of his fellow drivers plan to be there Friday at his viewing to say goodbye.