Father saves two of his children from burning RV in southern Utah 

Dec 28, 2021, 6:35 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2021, 5:43 am

VEYO, Utah — A community rallied around a family in southern Utah Tuesday after the bus they were living in exploded sending a father and two of his children to the hospital.

Living on the road and traveling across the country was a dream come true for the Copeland family. A couple of years ago Kyle and Whitney Copeland converted a municipal bus into an RV.

“It was their home and they’ve lost everything,” said Greg Copeland, Kyle’s father.

Copeland says his four grandchildren were on the bus on Monday as they were parked outside of a friend’s home in Veyo, a small town outside of St. George where the family used to live.

Kyle and Whitney were attaching a trailer when their third child got off the bus to tell them the propane heater was making noises.

“At that moment is when the explosion occurred,” Copeland said.

The bus burst into flames. Their older son was asleep and noticed the curtains on fire. He managed to get the emergency window open and jumped out headfirst.

Their mother Whitney ran to get inside the bus for their remaining two children, but Kyle pushed her out of the way and ran into the flames. He grabbed his three-year-old son and pulled his 11-year-old daughter Pepper off the bus with him.

“As a dad, you hope you have the hero in you to go into a fire and save your kids,” Copeland said of his son’s actions.

“I’ll be honest with you. The very fact that he went into the fire to save his kids. I don’t know. That’s amazing to me. That’s heroic to me.”

Kyle collapsed as soon as he got off the bus. His youngest child was burned and his daughter Pepper was on fire. Whitney grabbed her and rolled her on the ground to put out the flames and burned her hands in the process.

Pepper was taken by air to the hospital in St. George and the rest of them were rushed there by ambulance. Within a couple of hours, Copeland said doctors decided to fly Kyle and Pepper to the burn center in Las Vegas. Their 3-year-old flew with his mother to the center.

As of Tuesday, Copeland said Kyle and his two children have been intubated and sedated. Kyle, he said, served in the Air Force for six years and also suffers from PTSD.

The community has rallied around the family to support them. Copeland said he’s heard from people around the country.

“I got to tell you the outpouring of support has been phenomenal,” he said.

“I’ve gotten texts from my son’s primary teachers. From my son’s soccer coach in high school. All reaching out to see how he’s doing. It’s just a bit overwhelming to be honest with you.”

A family friend was watching the two remaining children Tuesday and a friend created a GoFundMe* page to help the family that has lost all of their possessions.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

File photo of a Unified Police Department squad vehicle. (KSL TV)...
Eliza Pace

Kearns shelter in place lifted, suspect in custody

A shelter in place has been lifted after it was issued around 7 p.m. while police searched for an armed teen.
21 hours ago
Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

Memento of slain son stolen from car, heartbroken mom wants it back

The stuffed elephant, that she slept with every night, is the only toy of her son's she has left.
21 hours ago
The McFarland family farm in Weber County is dealing with rising costs for fuel, chemicals and mate...
Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Weber County family farm fights through herbicide shortages, drought, rising costs

A shortage of chemicals found in herbicides is putting even more rising costs on the backs of Utah farmers, in an already difficult year.
21 hours ago
LGBTQ teens at an Encircle activity....
Ashley Moser, KSL TV

Parents’ support key to mental health among LGBTQ+ youth, experts say

Nearly 20 percent of adults in the U.S. live with a mental health condition. In the LGBTQ+ community, that number is three times higher. Experts say family support is crucial to an adolescents’ mental health.
21 hours ago
Delicate Arch in Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. (Larry D. Curtis)...
Ladd Egan, KSL TV

Survey: Quality of life in Utah is in decline

Despite a booming economy, a new survey reveals that housing prices and inflation are taking a toll on the quality of life in Utah.
21 hours ago
U.S. is shipping tens of thousands of monkeypox vaccines to 48 states....
Cary J. Schwanitz, KSL TV

Feds report two more Utah monkeypox cases

The White House announced Wednesday that it was sending 20 doses of the monkeypox vaccine to Utah.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Father saves two of his children from burning RV in southern Utah