We often write about the dangers that 18-wheelers pose to other drivers on the road. Anyone who drives commercially or drives an especially large vehicle has a responsibility to be as alert and cautious as possible when behind the wheel.
Illinois residents recently had a tragic reminder of why cautious driving is so important for large vehicles. Last Friday, a school bus accident that occurred about 45 minutes north of Chicago claimed the life of another motorist and injured dozens of elementary students. The accident investigation is still in progress, but initial reports suggest that the bus driver may have run a red light before striking two SUVs in the intersection.
One of those SUV drivers was killed and the other was seriously injured. The force of the impact was enough to flip the school bus onto its side; injuring students and breaking windows. First responders helped children escape out the back, and all were out of the bus when paramedics arrived.
According to news reports, 23 children were able to be put on another bus to be transported to the hospital, while 12 needed to be transported via ambulance. Many students suffered minor cuts and bruises, but the more serious injuries included hand fractures and minor concussions.
While it is truly fortunate that no children were killed, this was nonetheless a serious and fatal accident. In the absence of a truly convincing explanation to the contrary, we must assume that negligent driving played a role in this crash. Discovering which driver was ultimately at fault will be an investigation that is closely followed by the victims and their families.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Police investigate whether school bus driver ran red light,” Bridget Doyle, Carlos Sadovi and Gregory, Apr. 6, 2013