A parents worst nightmare happened today when a chartered bus transporting Philadelphia school kids were hurt in a terrible bus accident on I-95 in Maryland. The kids were on a field trip from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. when the bus was caused to flip over. This crash shut down I-95 for several hours as many of the children were seriously injured. Coincidentally and fortunately, a bus of Philadelphia police officers were traveling to Washington, D.C. for a separate event and happened to be in the area when the accident occurred. The Philadelphia police officers in the area helped with triage efforts and likely helped avoid a great deal more injuries from this horrific bus accident.
The State Police investigation says that a driver of a car trying to pass the bus, lost control and clipped the front of the bus causing the accident. From the initial investigation it would seem that the other driver was at fault for this accident, but it is too early to tell. A much more through investigation of this accident is needed for all details of the bus crash to come to light and better determine who’s at fault for this. Obviously, the most important aspect after a bus accident is getting medical care. Second most important is the investigation as to exactly what the cause(s) of the accident were. The investigation into an accident like this must be done quickly, because physical evidence and witnesses are needed to help reconstruct the conditions of the accident. The physical evidence is scattered on highway that needs to be re-opened and has a tendency to get lost quickly in these types of accidents. There may be multiple parties who could be at fault for this type of bus accident, for example the other driver, the bus company, manufacturer of the bus, State Agencies who own the roadway, etc. The possible defendants who had a hand in causing this horrible accident need to be held accountable to eventually make the injured children whole.
UPDATE: A troubling trend in the news this week this morning another school bus accident occurred, this time in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. A school bus transporting students to Lancaster Mennotie School was involved in a collision with a tractor trailer hauling a large pre-fabricated home. The crash left the school bus toppled over on its side, much like the Philadelphia school children’s accident from earlier in the week. From early reports from this accident, there were 3 serious injuries to the children on the bus who were admitted to Lancaster General Hospital. Additionally, a minivan also collided with the tractor trailer in this accident.
Prayers and thoughts go out to all the parents and children who have been involved in these tragic bus accidents. After medical attention is rendered, it is important to investigate the true cause of the bus accidents. Was it driver error on the part of the school bus, driver error on the part of the tractor trailer or possibly the driver of the car or something else that caused these accidents? This key question needs to be answered when evaluating who is responsible for making these children whole in relation to this bus accident.
For more updated information on the Philadelphia children hurt in the I-95 bus crash: http://6abc.com/traffic/philly-students-involved-in-md-charter-bus-crash;-dozens-hurt/1995326/
For more updated information on the Lancaster County school bus and tractor trailer crash: http://6abc.com/news/15-students-driver-hospitalized-after-school-bus-crash-in-lancaster-co/2003415/
These links have more detailed information about parents and children’s rights after a bus accident and bus accidents in general.