Articles Posted in Bus Accident

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Many Chicagoans rely on public transportation to commute both within the city and the surrounding Chicagoland area. Instead of owning or relying on a car, public transportation offers riders the ability to travel for an affordable price. Even if a vehicle is available, many people find that transportation like buses and trains offers convenience and affordability, especially when needing to travel a farther distance away from the city of Chicago.

However, these common carriers owe a legal duty of care to their paying customer passengers. This includes not only having a safe and properly functioning mode of transportation but also driving safely and keeping the passengers free from harm. Abiding by this legal duty is important. While minor mistakes may seem like no big deal before they occur, when someone acts negligently while the lives of others are in their hands, accidents are likely to occur and often do happen. Even moments of negligent behavior can have a serious effect on the safety and well-being of passengers. Where a company or one of its drivers fails in any of these regards (i.e. safe vehicle, safe driving, etc.) and passengers suffer injury as a result, the company and/or its employee can be held responsible through a personal injury lawsuit.

A recent article by the Chicago Sun-Times is a prime example of driver negligence can endanger passengers. A Megabus, heading south out of Chicago, crashed on the highway and injured 19 people. The bus crashed into three other vehicles, one of which was a semi-truck. After rear-ending a semi in the early morning, the bus caused a chain-reaction crash in the southbound lanes of Interstate 65. Police relayed that for unknown reasons the bus driver failed to stop before the front of the bus collided with the rear of a semi-tractor trailer that was stopped in the left lane. This set off a chain-reaction; after hitting the semi, the semi then hit a SUV, followed by the SUV being pushed into a small passenger vehicle.
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Time and again distracted driving is making headlines, but this is a dangerous trend that we should all work together to end. Because distracted driving is all too common, there have been many accidents in Chicagoland and throughout Illinois which would have been prevented but for negligent driving and not paying attention to the road.

Unfortunately, distracted driving was once again in recent news when a tractor-trailer collided with a bus, according to the Quincy Herald-Whig. The truck collided with a bus and drove straight through an interstate median without any signs of braking or trying to avoid colliding with the bus. As a result of the collision, four members of a Texas community college women’s softball team were killed.

At the time of the accident the truck had been traveling northbound on Friday night. At this spot on Interstate 35 the road curves gently to the right, but the truck continued straight, traveling approximately 820 feet through the median, and collided with the southbound headed bus that was carrying 15 members of the softball team and their coach. However, even after striking the side of the bus, the truck continued to drive for about another 300 feet. It then crossed over the southbound lanes and then uprooted some trees.
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While we all know how frustrating and upsetting motor vehicle accidents can already be due to injuries and financial burdens, the frustrations of these accidents can be amplified when hazardous materials are involved with the collision with regards to dangers to victims and hazards to the nearby environment.

According to recent news by TMJ 4, a bus and a truck recently collided requiring extensive clean up. While thankfully no serious injuries resulted from this accident, local authorities had to call for two ambulances and had to send a hazardous material unit to the scene in order to tend to the crash. As a result of the crash, there was a relatively significant oil spill.

Because vehicles run on fuels such as gas and oil, these hazardous materials can spill when vehicles collide in an accident and may even cause explosions.. Thankfully in this accident, authorities quickly tended to the situation and no significant dangers materialized from the spilled oil. However, this is unfortunately not the case in many accidents, where spilled hazardous materials – whether from fuel or the cargo of large trucks – create a dangerous situation along roads for both parties in the accident and bystanders.
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While we are all very well aware of the high frequencies of motor vehicle and truck accidents, we may not always consider how often other types of vehicles are involved in collisions. Consider all of the times that you were traveling on a vacation, for business or to an event in which you weren’t taking an airplane or driving yourself. Some people may use this opportunity to travel on a bus with a tourist group or other large groups of travelers, whether it be public transportation, a tour bus, or a commercial bus. Buses are extremely popular for large groups of people to travel, such as local community group traveling together for a sporting event, taking a commercial bus like Greyhound or Megabus across state lines, or taking a double-decker tour in a city. However, bus accidents can and do occur, whether at the negligence of the bus driver or of another driver that shares the road.

According to recent news report by NBC Chicago, a Greyhound bus and motor vehicle collided on an Indiana highway. One person died and 18 others were injured in this accident. The injuries were severe enough that the people required to be transported to hospital by ambulance or helicopter. One witness reported that the bus went off the shoulder of the road and that the vehicle was crushed in the inbound lane, so much so that witnesses could not even make out the wheels or identify whether the vehicle was a car or truck.
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As frequent visitors to our blog are aware, buses are a common mode of transportation in Illinois. Whether we are talking about public transportation in the Chicago metro area, charters carrying interstate travelers, or school busses in rural Illinois, we rely on bus transportation for a wide variety of commuting purposes. Like all motor vehicles, bus passengers are at risk of personal injuries when others drive recklessly and are negligent.

According to an article by The Southern Illinoisan, a daycare bus and a truck collided in an accident outside of Carbondale. This resulted in injuries to eleven children and two adults. The collision occurred when a garbage truck turned north onto Spillway Road off of Illinois 13, went onto two wheels, and hit the back of a daycare bus that had also just turned the corner. The collision caused the bus to spin off the side of the road, and the truck to overturn off the road. Police are still investigating why the truck made a turn at such an unsafe speed. All of the children and adults aboard the bus were rushed to the local Carbondale hospital.

Unfortunately, school transportation-related crashes, including daycare accidents are all too common nationwide and put minors at risk of serious personal injuries and death. According to 2009 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 19 school-age passengers and pedestrians die in these crashes every year. Between the years 2000 – 2009, there were a total of 371,104 fatal motor vehicle crashes nationwide, and 1,245 of these crashes were school transportation related. Also between these years, 1,386 people died in school transportation related crashes. This is an average of 139 deaths per year.

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Last week, we told our readers about a fatal tour bus crash that took the lives of many people, including high school students who were on their way to tour a prospective college. Now, recent reports have elaborated upon authorities’ efforts to investigate the factors involved in this fatal tour bus accident.

One article by the Quincy Herald-Whig describes how the fatal crash has been reconstructed by investigators. A passenger aboard the tour bus provided a recount of the time of the collision and described how the FedEx tractor-trailer crashed into her high school tour bus. Other witnesses have described how they heard explosions occur upon impact. Dozens of the injured students had to escape through the bus windows before it exploded into flames. The tour bus in this crash was carrying 44 high school students who were on their way to tour a nearby college. In total, the crash claimed the lives of five students, three adult chaperones, and the truck and bus drivers.

According to the same article, the local highway patrol maintained the recordings of the 911 calls from that day for investigation purposes As these recordings are released, investigators can try to reconstruct how the bus driver may have reacted to the oncoming semi-truck, which had swerved out of the interstate’s median and into the oncoming traffic, hitting the bus. After the crash, local authorities closed the portion of the interstate where the crash occurred. They drove the same model vehicle at the same approximate speed, and then stopped to gauge the drop in speed. Someone else drove the same model truck and released the accelerator to also try to grasp how speed changed. Both model vehicles had video cameras inside, so that investigators could view this emulation of the crash and attempt to understand what each of the drivers would have seen before the collision. Investigations are still continuing.

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Highways collisions between large vehicles, such as trucks or buses, can lead to serious injuries and fatalities because of their size and momentum when travelling at high speeds. Unfortunately these factors played a role in a recent accident in northern California that claimed the lives of nine people, injuring many others. According to an article by ABC, a Fed Ex truck with a tractor-trailer attached collided with a tour bus that was carrying high school students to visit a college campus. The truck was heading southbound on the highway when it crossed into oncoming traffic, and collided with a Nissan Altima, followed by the tour bus. As a result of this accident 32 people were hospitalized. The truck driver and tour bus driver were killed, along with seven students who were passengers on the bus. The accident is still under investigation at this time. Preliminary reports have stated that the truck may have been trying to avoid hitting the Altima when it hit the charter bus.

While it is always unfortunate when fatal traffic accidents occur, it is especially devastating when these accidents separate families and cut short the lives of young people. As noted above, the students were en route to tour a college as prospective students, exemplifying the potential they still had yet to live up to in their young lives. As a result of what could have been another’s negligence, nine lives were lost, and seven families will miss seeing their children grow up and reach their dreams.

What is also worrisome about this bus accident is that it easily could have happened in Illinois as well. Our state is a major hub for passenger bus transportation, with many schools and tourist attractions located near busy and congested Chicago area expressway. Thousands of people in Illinois rely on bus transportation every day, and they should be able to trust that they will be able to arrive to their destinations safely and not fear an accident from the negligence of others on our roadways.

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When driving in the early morning or late afternoon, we, as drivers, share the roads with school buses. These school buses carry small and young children on their way to or back from school. As you may know, to the law requires drivers to always stop when school buses are stopped with their stop sign extended and flashing red lights. The purpose of this Illinois law is to protect the lives and well-being of students by making drivers aware of buses with the hope of preventing bus accidents.

According to reports by WIFR, a collision between a school bus and a truck left four people injured. The accident occurred on Pacatonica Road, south of Montague Road, in Ogle County, Illinois. According to the Ogle County Sheriff, the bus driver pulled over to let a student off, when the pick-up truck hit the bus head on. Four individuals were injured as a result of the collision: two children, the bus driver, and the truck driver. The accident is still currently under investigation.

While the exact cause of this accident is not yet known, after reading about this accident our attorneys wanted to remind readers of the importance of yielding to school buses. According to an article by the Illinois State Board of Education, other vehicles on the road pose a great danger to children on school buses, particularly when they do not yield to a stopped bus. However, it is the law to yield to stopped school buses, per Illinois Vehicle Code in Sections 5/11-1414, 5/11-1415, 5/12-803, 5/12-805, and 5/12-807.2. No drivers are exempt from following these laws, and this applies both on and off of school property. For instance, when traveling on a two-lane road, and a school bus stops to pick up or drop off a student, vehicles in all lanes of traffic must stop. Furthermore, when a school bus is on a four-lane road, those traveling in the same direction as the bus must stop.

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As our readers know, when collisions occur between large vehicles, such as trucks, the accidents can create significant damage and may cause passengers and drivers to sustain serious personal injuries. This is often due to the large size of such vehicles, both in height and weight. Additionally, larger vehicles like buses are often carrying a much greater number of people than passenger cars or trucks. These accidents therefore put a much greater number of people in danger of serious injuries, even including broken bones, loss of limbs, or paralysis.

The Sun Times recently reported on a bus accident involving a tour bus and a semi-truck. Unfortunately, the bus driver became trapped and died from accident-related injuries. Of the other 31 people on board the bus, two suffered moderate injuries, and all other suffered minor injuries. Eight people had to be transported to the local hospital, including the truck driver, as a result of the collision.

As of now, police have not released any other news regarding the cause of the crash except o say that t icy road conditions were likely to blame. It is still unknown why the truck was pulled over or how the bus driver lost control.

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A Griffith man was killed and fifteen others were injured in bus accident near Kankakee, according to the NWI Times. The driver of a pickup truck was killed in the collision, and fifteen of the bus passengers injured. The pickup truck driver was driving in the westbound lanes on U.S. 20 when he lost control of his truck. The truck traveled left of the center lane and hit the eastbound traveling bus. The truck then went into the ditch, and the bus stopped in a nearby field. The impact of the collision caused the driver of the pickup truck to be thrown from the vehicle, resulting in him dying at the scene of the crash. The crash remains under investigation, but authorizes are currently concluding that the slick and icy road from winter weather conditions play a major role in the crash.

A similar but unrelated accident also happened in Illinois on the same day. A driver of a motor vehicle traveling south on Illinois 394 near U.S. 30 lost control of his vehicle causing it to breaking through a barrier wall. The vehicle then collided with a pickup truck in the northbound lanes, flipped over, and caught fire.

Both of these accidents are unfortunate examples of the personal injuries and fatalities that can result from losing control of one’s vehicles in slippery winter road conditions. Because winter causes roads to become much more slippery than normal, it is imperative that drivers use caution as to avoid collision and injuries to themselves and others. The Weather Channel advises drivers to avoid going on the roads until snow plows and salt trucks have had an opportunity to work. Also, always allow yourself extra time to reach your point of interest as to avoid speeding and to go slower than normal if necessary. Not only should you not speed when the roads are slippery, but you should also allow yourself more time to stop at intersections, lights, etc. Slippery roads require us to use more time to come to a complete stop. This means allowing yourself at least three times more space between you and the car in front of you. Allowing yourself more space will also allow you to brake more slowly. If you have to make sudden stops, this can cause your car to skid and your wheels to lock up. Easing on the brakes is best in icy and slippery conditions, which is why it is important to avoid high speeds and close distances between other drivers on the road.