Mount Laurel, N.J. holds blood drive for students in school bus crash

March 14, 2012 2:20:46 PM PDT
The community of Chesterfield in Burlington County, New Jersey is still dealing with a fatal bus accident there last month. Today, folks in nearby Mount Laurel are supporting each other once again.

"It's a tough situation for everybody involved," Cpl. Len Werner, who organized the blood drive, told Action News. "I think this is a way to memorialize the kids and make sure they know we're thinking about them in their tough times."

A steady stream of donors are coming to the Mt. Laurel Community Center for the blood drive organized by Mt. Laurel Police and a group called Officer Down in honor of the Tezsla and Zdybel families.

Last month, 11-year-old triplet Isabelle Tezsla was killed in the February 16th crash when her school bus collided with a truck in Chesterfield. Her sisters Natalie and Sophie were also injured along with 11-year-old Jonathan Zdybel.

"I have children of my own so I definitely feel for the families and what they're going through," said John Carr of Mount Laurel, "and certainly want to be as supportive as I can."

"I'm not into needles," said Pete Scarrabaggio. But "there's people out there that need it so it's something I can do."

The blood drive is one of numerous events designed to support the families affected by the fatal accident. It comes on the same day that severely injured Jonathan Zdybel was released from Cooper University Hospital after almost 4 weeks of treatment. He was transferred to the DuPont Rehabilitation Center in Wilmington. His family released a statement online that reads in part:

" We want to say thank you to all our doctors, nurses and staff members who had done their very best to help us in this difficult time and took the best care of our Jonathan. We thank all of you from the bottoms of our hearts."

"I think it's fantastic that they're progressing, their health is getting that much better," said Roy Bucci, a retired police officer. "They have my prayers, both families, and it's just sad we had to lose one of the triplets."