The North Carolina Highway Patrol has reported that a woman has been charged with running a stop sign after hitting a school bus in Pitt County on Feb. 21. The accident caused a minor injury to an elementary school student. The incident occurred at the intersection of Staton House Road and Daughtridge Drive near Greenville at approximately 3:10 p.m.
According to an NCHP report, the woman's vehicle struck the side of a Pitt County school bus as it proceeded across the intersection. Press reports featured images of the badly damaged bus, which was carrying 24 Belvoir Elementary School students at the time. Paramedics transported the woman to an area medical facility when she complained of chest pains following the crash. The one child who was injured in the accident did not require hospitalization.
Data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that 1,344 lives were lost between 2004 and 2013 in accidents involving school buses or other forms of school transportation. While most of the road users killed were pedestrians, cyclists or passenger vehicle occupants, these accidents still claimed the lives of 45 school bus drivers and 61 passengers. The NHTSA says that these crashes are most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Buses are sturdily built vehicles that are able to withstand collisions fairly well, but passengers are rarely provided with safety belts and often suffer serious injuries in a crash. When bus or other car accidents are caused by the reckless actions of other road users, personal injury attorneys may pursue civil remedies on behalf of the victims. Lawyers may also file lawsuits against bus drivers who have violated traffic laws or operated their vehicles negligently.
Source: NHTSA, School-Transportation-Related Crashes, Alex Wilhelm, June 2015