Stanly County bus driver has brain surgery, will be moved from ICU

A Stanly County Schools bus driver was to be moved from ICU Thursday, one week after having a stroke on his way home from work.

Danny McDaniel, who had not been feeling well, was heading home to Millingport after dropping off middle and high school students from the West Stanly district when he crashed his 1994 Jeep Cherokee.

Locust resident Erika Burr, who is best friend of McDaniel’s niece, Alicia Hollon, set up a GoFundMe page to help the family.

She had spoken with his sister Debra Hollon early Thursday morning.

“He is being moved out of the ICU today (Thursday), which is a good sign,” Burr said.

“He is opening his eyes, not necessarily awake, but when the therapist will come and ask, ‘Danny, can you open your eyes?’

“He’s not actually opening his eyes to make eye contact to look at you.”

Burr said she was told doctors revealed McDaniel had one massive stroke and multiple mini strokes.

He remains unconscious, but is able to squeeze a person’s hand when asked, she said.

“He was sent to Charlotte where had determined he needed a craniotomy,” Burr said, speaking of a procedure that makes a small hole in the skull or removes bone to look at the brain.

“That was to relieve the pressure on his brain because he was having swelling on the brain,” she added. “He is making progress, but there is no 100% on how much progress.”

Besides the GoFund Me, which had raised nearly $5,000 as of Thursday morning, Burr said they are working on plans for a local fundraiser to assist the family with medical expenses.

McDaniel, 59, transports students on Bus 54 to Locust and Stanfield elementary schools, West Stanly Middle and West Stanly High schools, Burr said.

He has been a SCS bus driver since August 2011, according to SCS.