In the realm of roadway crashes, school bus accidents can be one of the most harrowing in the minds of mothers and fathers everywhere. There are few things that alarm most any parent than the possibility of injury-related or fatal traffic accident that involves young children and other minors. This is especially true because most adults assume that school and church buses are driven by people who we hope take the safety of our kids as seriously as the parents.
As Maryland personal injury and auto accident attorneys, I and my colleagues know how scary it must be for a parent to hear that a son’s or daughter’s school bus may have been involved in an automobile or commercial trucking-related collision. There isn’t any parent who wouldn’t switch places with a child who has been critically injured in a traffic incident.
Yet, with all our hopes for safe transportation of school children, busing-related crashes do occur and will likely continue to be possible outcome for any child that lives far enough away from school. In large cities, such as Baltimore and Washington, D.C., kids will sometimes take public transport in the form of city buses and subways. Even these modes of transportation are not without risk to riders of every age.
According to a recent news article, more than a dozen passengers were taken to the hospital following a charter bus accident in Queen Anne’s County on a Thursday morning. We’ll say right off the bat that thankfully nobody died in this particular road accident, however there were a number of injuries sustained by youngsters and adults alike.
Based on police reports, the accident happened along a stretch of Rte 213 near White Marsh Rd. in Centerville, MD; the southbound bus, one of two chartered vehicles taking students from the Kent County school district to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in D.C.
The vehicle involved in the crash was carrying 35 people at the time and apparently overturned when the 86-year-old man who was driving the bus steered the vehicle quickly in an effort to avoid a collision with another motor vehicle entering the road. That action reportedly caused the bus to go off the roadway and hit a utility pole, which in turn caused the vehicle to roll onto its side.
Police believed that the bus driver, Curtis Dorsey, tried to avoid hitting a Volkswagen sport utility vehicle that allegedly pulled out into the road right in front of the oncoming bus. It wasn’t obvious from the news article, but the results of a collision with the VW may not have been as serious as what actually resulted when the bus veered of the road and into the pole.
According to news reports, Maryland State Police said that the 10 kids from Worton Elementary School as well as seven teachers and parents were injured. The MSP report stated that emergency responders helped the majority of the passengers out of the damaged bus through the broken-out windshield. The balance of the occupants escaped through the roof-mounted emergency exit.
One of the adults, a 25-year-old woman, received serious injuries and was taken by medevac helicopter to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center; she was later reported to be in good condition that afternoon. According to witnesses following behind the two buses, it was amazing that the VW driver chose to turn onto the road so close to the approaching charter bus.
Other injured passengers were transported via ambulance to local hospitals and emergency centers. All of those individuals apparently received minor injuries and did not require extensive hospital stays.
Police took the driver of the Volkswagen into custody following the incident, however it was not clear at the time of the news report whether or not the 49-year-old Stevensville resident would be charged with any traffic violations. According to reports, a decision would likely follow a detailed investigation by the state police.
School bus crash on Eastern Shore injures 17, CecilWhig.com, May 13, 2011