A frightening crash took place early on the morning of Wednesday, October 21, 2020: Three people, including a 6-year-old child, were seriously injured when an elementary school bus collided with a tree-trimming truck in Orange County, New York. Emergency services reported to the scene in the shaken community of New Windsor around 8:30 a.m.
Officials said a commercial tree service truck was heading west on Route 207 when it crossed over the double yellow line, striking the Washingtonville School District bus off Beattie Road. At the time of the incident, eight children were on board, seven of whom were able to walk off the bus before being transported to St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh, where they were treated and released. A 6-year-old student who was sitting behind the driver was freed by firefighters after being stuck on the bus for about an hour. She is reportedly in critical but stable condition. The driver of both the school bus and truck were listed in critical condition.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families; we wish them a full and speedy recovery.
Ironically, this harrowing bus crash occurred during National School Bus Safety Week. Held every year during the third week of October, it is designed to promote school bus safety to students, school bus operators, and motorists. National School Bus Safety Week illuminates some of the critical safety issues other drivers need to be aware of. When sharing the road with school buses, it is important for motorists to know these important steps:
- Slow down and be prepared to stop
- Never pass a school bus with its red lights flashing
- Never use electronic devices while driving to keep your focus on the road
According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), riding a bus to and from school is much safer than riding by car. In fact, students are 70 times more likely to get to their destination safely by school bus than by passenger car. But that is not to in any way suggest that bus accidents do not occur. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), school bus-related crashes killed 117 people nationwide in 2018. Some of the top causes for school bus-related accidents include:
- Distracted driving, including texting or talking on the phone
- Reckless driving, including speeding or changing lanes without proper notice
- Weather conditions, including dense fog, strong winds, and rainy or snowy conditions
- Driver error
It is important to remain alert and extra cautious when driving in the vicinity of school buses. Often they are transporting children, and one accident could be life-altering for everyone involved.
The experienced attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy have a proven track record of successfully litigating motor vehicle accidents. We have recovered over 100 auto injury cases exceeding $1,000,000 each for our clients. Some of our notable cases include:
- $14,000,000 settlement for a motorcyclist who was struck by a truck which was attempting to make a left turn, causing his leg to be amputated below the knee
- $7,525,000 settlement for the family of a mother and son who were tragically killed in a Long Island car collision
- $6,000,000 settlement for a bus passenger who was injured when the bus collided with a truck at an intersection, causing shoulder, knee, and spinal injuries
- $2,250,000 settlement for a 55-year-old pedestrian who suffered multiple serious injuries after she was struck by a school bus while crossing the street
If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in a bus accident, you may be entitled to compensation. To receive a free legal consultation from our expert attorneys, call us at 212-736-5300, or contact us by filling out our online form.