Parents know that every time they put their children on a school bus, the risk of an accident is ever present. However, they trust that the bus driver will use due care in transporting their kids to and from school.
This trust was broken early Friday morning. A school bus travelling through Wadsworth crashed into a Jeep Wrangler, and flipped onto its side, injuring more than 30 children who were on board. Bus drivers have a unique duty to use reasonable care in operating their vehicles.
Not only are in control of large, potentially dangerous vehicles, they carry the lives of their passengers in their hands. School bus accidents are uncommon, but when they occur, they often have catastrophic results. Bus passengers commonly suffer injuries because most are not equipped with seatbelts.
An investigation into the accident is ongoing, as preliminary reports indicate that there are conflicting accounts as to how the accident occurred. Some witnesses reported that the bus driver was at fault, as he allegedly ran a stop sign that led to the accident. However, other witnesses believed that the driver of the Jeep (who was killed) contributed to the accident.
The bus driver was cooperating with investigators and toxicology tests had not been performed to determine if alcohol played a part in the accident. These reports are critical because they can provide persuasive evidence to show whether a driver was at fault. Essentially, if a driver had a certain amount of alcohol in their blood (perhaps more than .08) it could that showing could support the basis of a negligence claim.
If you have questions about your rights after a bus accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help.
Source: ABC News.com, 1 dead, kids O.K. in Northern Illinois bus crash, April 5, 2013
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