ARNOLD, Mo. — A well-known school bus driver who worked in the Fox C-6 School District died after a car struck him earlier this week. A fleet of buses formed a procession on Friday to remember 72-year-old Dennis Abelin.
He worked as a bus driver in the district for eight years and often shared stories about how proud he was to be a U.S. Navy veteran. His co-workers said he will be missed.
“He’s really going to be missed,” said his colleague Vince Janson. “This was a tragic end to a beautiful life.”
Trying to hold back the tears, more than 40 Fox C-6 School District bus drivers participated in the procession.
St. Louis County police said Abelin was struck and killed by a 16 -year- old driver Tuesday in the 3200 block of Country Hollow Drive. Police are currently investigating the crash as a homicide.
“Any bus driver is a loss, but he was above and beyond. Everything did was top-notch. You could always count on him to help you out,” said another colleague, Gary Cross.
A make-shift memorial stands in the district’s bus parking lot in his honor, and his co-workers have been stopping by all day bringing stuffed animals and flowers. They wanted to memorialize him, saying he served the district proudly.
“All the drivers liked him. He did stuff for them every day. He would go fuel their buses, get them started…always helping everyone he could,” said Cross.
Authorities said the 16-year-old remained at the scene after the crash and cooperated with the officers. He was taken into custody and referred to family court.
Funeral arrangements are still pending for Abelin, and police said the deadly crash remains under investigation.