According to authorities, the accident happened when the charter bus that was carrying members of Ramah Juco Academy’s football team and other college from nearby Clinton College students when the left front tire of the bus had a blowout. The blowout caused the bus driver to lose control and crash into an overpass bridge, shearing off a portion of the bus.
Police have identified the victims in the crash as Brian Kirkpatrick, 43, who was the driver of the bus, Clinton College students Devonte Gibson, 21, and Teto Hamilton, 19, and 10-year-old Darice Hicks, 10, who was the son of one of the football team’s coaches.
The 42 additional people injured in the crash were taken to area hospitals with injuries ranging from minor to critical.
The crash is currently under investigation by the North Carolina Highway Patrol and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.
Nothing is more tragic than losing a child being seriously hurt or losing their life in an accident while they are away at school or at a school-related event. It is something that no one should ever have to face.
Whether someone was hurt on a school bus or a charter bus, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires detailed maintenance records to be kept for all such passenger vehicles. They must meet certain federal and state safety standards and it is the duty of the bus company or school district to perform regular maintenance and pre-trip safety inspections and to report any safety issues that may cause a bus to break down. Those who are hurt or the surviving family members of those who lose their lives in a bus crash have the right to seek compensation for their injuries or wrongful death. There can be different guidelines for different types of accidents as to whether to seek compensation from an insurance claim or to file a lawsuit against those responsible in the crash.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus crash and you wish to pursue compensation for any injuries, medical expenses or other losses, contact Goldstein & Bashner today. We will be happy to discuss the details of your case with you and answer any questions. In the Long Island area, you can reach us at (516) 874-7303 to request a free consultation. All cases are accepted on a contingency basis.