Deadly school bus crash victim returns to school - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Deadly school bus crash victim returns to school

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PORT ST. LUCIE, FL (WFLX) - Two months ago, Joey Yannucci was injured in a horrific school bus crash in Fort Pierce.
 
But on Monday, he was home with his family and getting back to normal -- one step at a time.
 
Joey has made a recovery that amazed even his doctors. On Tuesday, he went back to school for the first time since the day of the crash.

Life at the Yannucci home has been full of sunshine since their 11-year-old boy came home from the hospital three weeks ago. "I feel like I got a second life," Joey said, holding two fingers up. "I can walk good. I can jump now. Not like major running, but a little jog." He moved his arms gingerly, in a jogging motion.

"We're starting to get our lives back. It's been a lot of fun," said Anthony Yannucci, Joey's dad.
 
Las week, doctors surgically replaced the missing parts of Joey's skull. Medical professionals are amazed by his recovery. "We sat in the front row of a miracle," Anthony said. "Nobody has expected Joey, including the doctors, any medical staff, to be where Joey is today."
 
Joey spent a month and a half in hospitals. Much of that time, he was in a medically induced coma.
 
He has no memory of the crash on March 26, as he headed home from school, the moment when traffic investigators say, his school bus driver turned into the path of a semi truck.
 
The crash killed Aaron Beachamp, 9, and sent a dozen children from Frances K. Sweet Magnet School to area hospitals. "I don't remember anything. I was just doing my homework, and then, all of a sudden, I'm all messed up," Joey said. "The disaster, I don't remember, so I'm fine with that. But right now, I feel normal and just ready to get back at the world."
 
Joey still faces challenges. There are the emotional ones. Aaron Beauchamp was the best friend of Joey's brother. "Now that Joey is better, we're starting to grieve for them, with them," said Anthony.
 
And there are the physical hurdles to overcome. Joey undergoes therapy twice a week, as he regains his strength.

Joey said, "When I look in the mirror, I'm just happy ... that I have my skull back and that I'm alright."
 
Joey heads back to school Tuesday. He wants to get back to his safety patrol post. "I don't want them to think of me like one of the injured and one of the weirdos, but some of the kids out in public, they just stare at my head and stare at me, but I'm okay with that," Joey said bravely.

The courageous boy and his family are ready to move on, together. "Words can't express how happy I am," said Anthony.
 
For Joey Yannucci, this is a chance, a renewed chance to appreciate and embrace the love that helped bring him to this day.
 
"I love them, and I can't believe I get to see them and be with them again," said Joey, about his parents.
 
Joey will continue school until the end of the year and receive tutoring over the summer.
 
Next stop: middle school.

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