A school bus crashed into a tree in West Houston on its way to take students to Paul Revere Middle School, leaving about 20 injured. According to the driver, the accident resulted from some type of mechanical failure, but students have expressed ideas that the driver may have had some sort of medical episode.
The accident occurred just after 8am in the 9500 block of Briar Forest. Witnesses said they could not believe what they were seeing and that it appeared "in slow motion" when the bus simply started drifting to the left of the road and hit a tree.
The 51-year-old driver told Houston police that a mechanical failure caused the bus to drift off the road, but students on the bus had slightly different accounts that may indicate some sort of medical or physical issue. One student said she saw the driver's legs go up and fall, another said the driver collapsed, and another said he saw her fall down. Other students reported seeing a phone in the driver's hand.
The driver and about 20 students were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, though only minor injuries were reported.
Good Samaritans arrived at the scene and helped some of the children off the bus, and though a representative of the Houston Fire Department expressed gratitude for their actions, she said that lending assistance may not always be the right thing to do, unless it is a life-threatening situation that demands immediate attention. The Fire Department has the proper tools, equipment and training to respond to accidents and offer assistance.
Accidents involving school buses and other large vehicles, particularly those carrying a number of passengers, can prove catastrophic. And when our children are placed at risk, we want answers.
Only a thorough investigation will reveal exactly what occurred in this collision, and the outcome of this investigation will impact any injury claims filed by parents of children who suffered physical or emotional injuries. Though only minor injuries were reported, and personal injury claims may be unnecessary as a result, it is still important to determine the exact cause of the collision.
If the driver has a medical condition, this should be addressed before she takes any more children on a bus. If the bus itself was defective, the cause of the malfunction should be discovered so it can be fixed. The bus will require repairs as a result of the collision anyway, but if something occurred that affected steering, braking or other systems, it will need to be traced to its source. Poor maintenance, a defective bus part or other factor may cause such a malfunction, and determining the cause can help ensure it does not happen again (particularly if other vehicles may be affected).
At The Daspit Law Firm, investigations are an important part of the legal counsel we provide for clients who have been injured in traffic accidents, including bus accidents, car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents and more. We have the resources and access to professionals in accident reconstruction, mechanics, medicine, economics and other applicable fields to determine cause and also the true value of a client's claim so we can pursue maximum financial compensation.
To learn more about our firm and the steps a Houston personal injury attorney can take to help you recover financial compensation after a traffic accident, please call for a free case review. We also work on a contingent fee basis, so you pay nothing unless we win your case.