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29 Injured When Car Sideswipes School Bus

Jason Reese

Saturday afternoon, Griffith High School’s boys basketball team was on its way to a semi-state game in Lafayette when another vehicle sideswiped their bus, causing it to leave the road and roll. Around noon, the boys and their staff were traveling on I-65 near Terre Haute, thinking largely of that evening’s game against Marion High School. Unfortunately, that all changed when the driver of a 2001 Kia, Dominique Small, lost the lid on her drink, spilling it on herself and losing control of her vehicle. Small’s vehicle drifted into the right lane and sideswiped the bus, sending it of the road and causing a rollover accident. At least one individual had to be removed from the bus by emergency professionals.

All twenty-seven individuals on the bus, as well as Smalls and her passenger, were taken to area hospitals. By late on Saturday, all but one of the bus’s passengers had been released. The remaining individual, freshman coach David Garrett, is in stable condition at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, IL.

School Buses Safest Way to Get Kids to School and Events?

Many school bus accidents are caused by another vehicle’s driver, who may be distracted, speeding, or otherwise traveling in a manner unsafe for conditions. Thankfully, there were no fatalities in the accident involving Griffith High School’s basketball team. Still fatality rates are one way to look at the relative safety of school buses versus other kinds of transportation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration compared the number of children killed in accidents during typical travel to-and-from school hours. The results are perhaps not surprising, as it has long been held that school buses are safe modes of transportation; however, it may be instructive to visualize exactly how much safer buses are. Eighty-one percent of student fatalities during those times when students are driving/riding to or from school occur in private vehicles. Nearly two-thirds of these fatalities involve a teenage driver, with another quarter involving an adult driver in a private vehicle.

Even so, there are still some districts in Indiana where nearly half of the school buses in operation have failed yearly safety inspections. These failures are accidents just waiting to happen. Not only are the reasons for failure potential causes of an accident but can also be contributing factors to an accident initiated by another vehicle but to which the school bus driver cannot properly respond. Problems with brakes or steering can certainly make an accident exponentially more dangerous and increase the likelihood of serious injury or death.

If your child has been the victim of injury while riding on a school bus as a result of another driver’s wrongdoing or an unsafe condition on the bus itself, the law offices of Wagner Reese want to assist you in bringing justice to these situations and in restoring safety to the children of our state. Please give us a call at (888) 204-8440 to schedule your free school bus accident consultation and find out how we can assist you and your family through this time.


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