Kadyn Halverson's family reacts to Gunderson's charges - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Kadyn Halverson's family reacts to Gunderson's charges


NEAR NORTHWOOD, Iowa (KTTC) -- Charges were filed Wednesday against the man accused of killing 7-year old Kadyn Halverson, while boarding her school bus in Worth County, Iowa near Kensett. After a four month investigation, 31-year old Aaron Gunderson of Northwood was taken into custody.

Gunderson is facing 2 counts of vehicular homicide and 1 count of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in a death. He is in the Worth county jail on an $85,000 cash bail.

Kari Halverson and Ryan Meyer, the parents of Kadyn, said the mixed emotions they're feeling about Gunderson's arrest are overwhelming. Finally, after months of uncertainty, they can start to heal their broken hearts, as justice is served for Kadyn.

Since Kadyn's death, two seasons have nearly come and gone, and with them, change.

"Something that we had been hoping would happen in the near future and today is the day," said Kadyn's dad, Ryan Meyer.

Aaron Gunderson, the man who allegedly struck and killed the small child, was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon.

"She was such a perfect little girl that was taken from us way too soon. I know that right now she is smiling down, knowing that she is going to have justice," explained Kari Halverson, Kadyn's mom.

While Gunderson has yet to be sentenced, the family feels that they have received their own.

"In a sense Aaron has handed us a life sentence, handed her a life sentence. We're never going to see our daughter again," said Kadyn's parents.

A stark reality that became all the more apparent last week.

"The first day of school was hard. A lot of parents taking pictures of their kids and putting them on the school bus, I'll never get to do that again with her," stated Halverson.

Yet the family is keeping her memory alive. Blue and Pink ribbons, two of Kadyn's favorite colors, decorate Northwood.

"It's just to maybe remind people to slow down and pay attention. If it's 7 a.m. school buses are out,  if it's 3 in the afternoon buses are out. Just pay attention," said Kari.

A message Kari Halverson hopes will keep other parents from dealing with the unbearable pain that she and Kadyn's family have.

"She's always here, sometimes, it's hard to believe that, but you almost have too," explained Halverson, with tears in her eyes.

The family is working on changing legislation for people who ignore traffic lights on school buses. To follow the progression of the law follow it on the Facebook page "Watch for the little ones."

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