In 2017, public buses transported over 4.7 billion passengers, but not everyone arrived at their destination safely. What would you do if you were a victim of a bus accident or a pedestrian struck by a bus? While no one expects to become a victim of an accident, it happens altogether too frequently. The first step in protecting yourself in this situation begins before you even board the bus. Having some knowledge of the insurance the bus carries may be your first step to mitigating damages should you become a victim of a bus crash.
The Norman, Oklahoma Public School District filed a lawsuit this week suing families of teachers and students that were injured in a rollover bus accident that occurred in September 2018. The district is not seeking any damages from the families. Rather, the district is asking the court to appoint a special master to determine how the $1,000,000 settlement should be divided up amongst the approximately twenty-four (24) families.
Drivers know to stop for school buses, and the law mandates it, but what about for city buses? Should city buses be required to wait for the bus ahead of them to move before pulling around the stopped bus? A city bus driver is now facing criminal charges after he killed a woman who was exiting the bus in front of him. The incident occurred while he was executing an illegal right turn. The passenger had exited a city bus which was stopped ahead of the impacting bus and the negligent driver pulled widely around the stopped bus while turning right. He then struck and killed a disembarked passenger who was crossing the street onto which the driver was turning. The driver swung so wide that he traveled into the oncoming traffic lane and was stopped there after impacting the deceased.
On May 17, 2018, a school bus caused a deadly crash when it missed an exit and decided to make a sudden U-turn in a median. The school bus was filled with fifth-graders headed on a class field trip in New Jersey. The bus was carrying 38 students and seven adults from East Brook Middle School in Paramus. As the bus attempted to make the U-turn, it collided with a dump truck. As a result of the accident, one 10-year-old student and one teacher died. Forty-three others were injured, some critically.
A deadly car collision involving a charter bus left at least two dead and others injured. The collision occurred in Walker County, Texas on I-45 and FM 1375. At approximately 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, passengers in a bus witnessed a maroon SUV traveling northbound lose control and go airborne across a median. The passengers screamed and ran to the back of the bus as the SUV struck a silver car ahead of the bus, causing the silver car to slam into the bus. The silver car also struck a black Nissan Altima. Investigators described the scene as "horrific."
In a jury trial in a wrongful death and product liability lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged that the bus manufactured by Motor Coach Industries caused the death of Kayvan Khiabani, a Las Vegas surgeon who was riding his bicycle alongside a tour bus manufactured by Motor Coach Industries. On March 23, 2018, a Nevada jury awarded $18.7 million to the teenage children of Dr. Khiabani, decedent, alleging that the lack of proximity sensors, faulty design, and failure to provide adequate warnings about the dangers of riding near the tour bus caused Mr. Khiabani's death.
On March 13, 2018, a bus carrying Channelview High School band students plummeted 50-feet down a ravine near Mobile, Alabama. The bus-transporting forty-six people-was coming home to Houston after a high school band trip to Disney World. The catastrophe left one dead, one in critical condition, and another five individuals with serious injuries. The location of the bus in the ravine made rescue efforts difficult, and it took authorities three hours to get everyone out. Helicopters and ambulances took the injured to three hospitals in Mobile and Pensacola. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Earlier this week, three separate accidents involving Houston-area school buses were reported. The first accident occurred on Monday when an Alvin ISD school bus rear-ended a vehicle stopped at a red light at the intersection of State Highway 6 and County Road 99 in Brazoria County, resulting in two fatalities. No students were on board the bus at the time of the accident. The second accident occurred on Tuesday on Highway 288 at Southmore near the Medical Center. Two vehicles reportedly ran into the back of a Houston ISD school bus, causing the bus to leave the roadway. The school bus driver suffered was transported to the hospital, but is expected to make a full recovery. Houston ISD confirmed that there were no students on the bus at the time of the accident. The third accident involving a Crosby ISD school bus occurred on Wednesday. According to Crosby ISD officials, 15 students were on the bus at the time of the accident, but no injuries were reported.
A collision between a privately-owned vehicle and a Maryland Transmit Administration (MTA) bus sent 17 people to the hospital on the afternoon of May 20, 2017. According to MTA officials, the accident occurred at 3:54 p.m. at the intersection of St. Paul Street and East North Avenue in central Baltimore.
On Tuesday afternoon, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a bus in downtown Houston. According to investigators, the pedestrian was walking near St. Joseph Medical Center when she was struck by a First Class Tours bus. The woman, whose name has not been released by investigators, died at the scene. Investigators have not determined if the woman was in the crosswalk or if the light was green at the time. This incident is the second incident this year in which a pedestrian was struck and killed by a bus in downtown Houston. In January, a pedestrian was crossing the street when he was struck and killed by a METRO bus in downtown Houston. Unfortunately, the number of pedestrian fatalities in Houston has steadily increased every year since at least 2013.