We have a shocking story out of Tennessee that’s getting national attention. Six children are dead and the driver arrested after a school bus crash. Many more children are injured and some are still in intensive care.
On Monday afternoon, a school bus carrying 35 kids departed Woodmore Elementary School in Chattanooga. According to police affidavits, the bus driver was going well above the speed limit and lost control, flipping the bus and wrapping it around a tree. Rescuers had to cut the bus open to rescue the children. Twenty-three children in all were taken to the hospital over a two-hour span. No other vehicles were involved.
Most disturbingly, one of the children reported that the driver asked them “Are y’all ready to die?” before the accident. However, the mother of the driver believes that the wreck was a freak accident and that the driver attempted to rescue the children after the crash. The driver, who was a contractor for the local school district, has no prior criminal record in Tennessee, but he was in an accident in September involving property damage and his license was suspended for insurance reasons for a month in 2014.
The mother of one of the children who died said her children complained to her about the driver, and she took the issue to the Board of Education, the school, and the bus company, Durham School Services, in August. She said she also wrote a letter to the driver, which the principal read aloud to him as she and several children watched.
According to news reports, He said, "So? I'd do it again."
Now, he’s facing five charges of vehicular homicide, reckless driving, and reckless endangerment. More charges could be forthcoming. It is unknown if the driver may have had alcohol or other drugs in his system at the time of the incident.
In the face of such senseless tragedy, families are going to be looking for answers and potential compensation to help them cope with losing a child. The driver will be facing criminal charges, but the company that hired him and potentially the school district could also be at risk for litigation. We trust all adults involved with the school system to take care of our children and they should pay when they fail in that duty.
If you have had a child injured on school grounds, you deserve to have your day in court. If you live in on Long Island or New York City, the team to call is the personal injury team at Goldstein & Bashner. We have experience in bus accident cases as well as many other types of personal injury cases. For more information, browse our website or give our offices a call to schedule a free consultation. Don’t wait. Call today.