School Bus Driver Blamed for Collision That Injured Children

On behalf of Brown & Crouppen, P.C. posted in Motor Vehicle Accident on Thursday, May 17, 2012

A highway accident between a school bus and a tractor-trailer in the St. Louis metro area on May 14 happened because the bus driver was driving too fast for conditions, police said. The crash injured at least 15 people riding the bus home from school, including one girl who was facing surgery after breaking her leg. The bus driver was also seriously injured.

According to a news report about the accident, the bus was travelling south on Interstate 55 toward Litchfield, Illinois the afternoon of May 14. It was trailing a semi truck in the freeway’s right lane when the vehicles entered a construction zone.

The driver of the tractor-trailer slowed down, but the bus driver failed to brake in time and crashed into the rear of the truck.

Besides the driver, there were 40 people on the bus, including two teachers, five chaperones and 33 students. Rescue personnel took 10 people to nearby hospitals for treatment, and parents of four other children later took them to the hospital themselves. Injuries ranged from bruising to a broken femur suffered by a 12-year-old girl. The driver’s injuries were not given in detail but were described as serious. Fortunately, none of the injuries were considered life-threatening. The semi truck driver was not injured.

An accident reconstruction team was beginning work on investigating the accident, but state troopers strongly suspect that the bus driver was speeding. One trooper said that collisions where a vehicle rear-ends something generally involve excessive speed. The bus driver has been ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Bus driver ticketed in I-55 crash that hurt sixth graders,” Kim Bell, May 15, 2012

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