At the end of last week a school bus laid on its side in a field near Colfax, Indiana. 26 students and the bus driver soon piled out of an emergency exit, many were scared and disorientated, some were injured. The Clinton Prairie bus had violently overturned after hydroplaning on the slick road, crushing its roof and shattering its windows. At the time of the rollover, the bus was transporting students of all ages, from elementary up to high school.
Luckily, the Clinton Prairie School Corporation had prepared students for such an event. They’ve practiced evacuations at least once each year, and that education helped students calmly exit the wrecked bus and aid injured friends. The Clinton County Sheriff said, ‘Here’s an example of how a bus evacuation worked. The students were able to get off the bus in a safe manner and help individuals on the bus before emergency personnel arrived.’
When emergency crews did arrive all 27 passengers were taken to local hospitals. One student taken to a Lafayette hospital was suffering from back pain, while another student was taken to St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital with a possible neck injury. Other students received more minor bumps and bruises and the worst of the injuries was experienced by a young boy whose arm was broken in the crash.
What Could Have Caused the Clinton Prairie Bus Accident?
The slick roads from an early morning rain certainly played the biggest role in the accident, but other factors are still being investigated. Mechanical issues within the bus aren’t out of the question and neither is inexperience on behalf of the bus driver, who’d only been driving since July.
Some students have also reported that the bus missed a corner along the road, which wouldn’t be the first time that turn caused problems. A first responder in the area said that something needs to be done about that particular curve. She claims, ‘My husband, he drives one of the big fire trucks… He’s also said that [the corner] is soft right there.’
The crash has reignited the long debate of whether or not school buses should be equipped with seatbelts, and the demand for buses with seatbelts is actually increasing. A company that makes special seats with built-in safety belts for buses claims they ‘reduce injuries and fatalities by up to 45 percent,’ and say they’ve been bombarded with recent interest in installing them in buses across several Indiana school districts.
One of the most commonly cited reasons more buses aren’t equipped with seat belts is cost. It’s not just the price of installing new seats, but also that many seats with safety straps only seat two students instead of three. This loss of space might require additional buses to transport the children. The issue will continue to be debated and unfortunately it’s the children that find themselves in the middle.
Indianapolis Accident Lawyers
While the cause of the crash and what could have been done to prevent it is discussed, the fact of the matter is there are several children who are injured and many families that don’t know where to turn. If your child was involved in the Clinton Prairie bus accident, seek counsel with an injury lawyer that can answer all your legal questions.
The Ken Nunn Law Office is here to help. They’re experienced in handling bus accident claims and can educate you on all your legal rights. Get a FREE legal evaluation of your bus accident case today. But don’t wait, contact the Ken Nunn Law Office right now.
Source, WTHR.com, ‘http://www.wthr.com/story/19868473/seat-belts-on-school-busses-considered-following-accident,’ Jennie Runevitch, October 20, 2012. Source. JConline.com, ‘http://www.jconline.com/article/20121019/NEWS0401/310190020/school-bus-overturn,’ Emily Campion, October 19, 2012. Source. The Republic, ‘http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/61218d4322b6439280971168460d926d/IN--School-Bus-Crash,’ October 19, 2012. Source. WTHR.com, ‘http://www.wthr.com/story/19862110/school-bus-overturns?clienttype=printable,’ Jeremy Brilliant & Rich Van Wyk, October 19, 2012.