CRAWFORD, Texas (KWTX) The father of three children who died in a grinding collision with an 18-wheeler in Georgia that left his ex-wife, a Central Texas native, critically injured has reached out to the driver of the truck, who was not at fault in the crash.
“I did it because I didn’t want him to feel the pain from something that was not his fault,” Danny Dinger told KWTX Wednesday.
Dinger, an Army veteran who was stationed at Fort Hood from 1996 to 1999, reached out both by phone and on social media, because he didn’t want the driver, whom he did not know, to carry any additional guilt about the deaths of his children.
“It was something out of his control. It makes my heart feel better to know my words can give him some peace. From a father to a father my heart feels better that he knows he don’t deserve the pain from this situation.”
Dinger’s three children Bella Dinger, 12, and Bostyn Dinger, 14, and Bryson Dinger, who turned 16 the day of the accident, died last Thursday on the way to school.
Bryson Dinger, who was driving, turned left into the path of the oncoming 18-wheeler at an intersection, the Georgia State Patrol said.
Their mother, Tasha Smith, a 1996 Crawford High School graduate who was a popular stylist at Hairstyle Plus in McGregor for several years after she graduated, was critically injured and remains at Doctors Hospital in Augusta, Ga.
Dinger said the driver told him how sorry he was and how much it meant that Dinger would reach out.
He told Dinger that he is the father of two and couldn’t imagine the pain of losing children so tragically.
The driver’s wife later reached out to Danny thanked him for his compassion, expressed how difficult this time has been for them, too, and offered to send food, flowers or anything the family needed.
The towns of Crawford and McGregor, where Tasha’s mother, Glenda Smith, a church secretary and substitute teacher, have been rallying around the well-liked family.
A prayer vigil was held at Tonkawa Falls organized by Tasha Smith’s Crawford classmates.
Two local men organized a Facebook fundraiser which has raised nearly 225,000.
Funeral arrangements for the three children are pending.