One Dead, 22 Hurt in Mojave Desert Bus Accident

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Posted on 21st May 2008 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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We say it in almost every blog, but the lower standard of safety in bus design and enforcement, appears to be responsible for at least one death and 22 injuries in Ludlow, California, on May 17, 2008.

The accident was a one vehicle crash, where the bus tipped on its side. The fatality was a woman who was thrown from the bus. Eight others were seriously injured. The bus is owned by Royal American Tours and Charter of Glendale. For full details on the story, click here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0%2c2933%2c356509%2c00.html

According to Fox News:
The bus was the only vehicle involved in the wreck on Interstate 40, about 115 miles southwest of Las Vegas, said San Bernardino County Fire Department spokeswoman Tracey Martinez.

“It did not roll over but it did land on its side,” she said.

Witnesses said the bus drifted across lanes and into the median, Officer Taj Johnson of the California Highway Patrol said.

While the full investigation hasn’t yet been completed, two major areas of inquiry would be whether the woman was wearing a seatbelt and how many hours the bus driver had been driving, before the accident. It is unlikely this woman would have been thrown if she was wearing a seat belt.

This type of accident, with the vehicle just drifting across lanes of travel before leaving the roadway, is highly suspicious of a driver who had fallen asleep.

If in fact no one on board was wearing a seat belt, we are very concerned about the potential for all on board, even those who are not in critical condition for suffering a brain injury. This type of unrestrained motion, with a bus flipping on its side, is guaranteed to have bodies flying in multiple directions. Any time the motion in a motor vehicle accident involves directs and angles that are not straight forward and back, the exposure to brain injury goes up exponentially. Even those who were not seriously injured, should be evaluated daily for potential memory, headache, dizziness or other brain injury symptoms.

Northern Kentucky School Bus Fatality

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Posted on 8th May 2008 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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It is a bad week for Kentucky truck drivers and school buses. Wednesday a semi-truck driven by a Kentucky man slammed into the back of a school bus in Waldo, Ohio, sending three children and the bus driver to the hospital. Thursday, a 16-year-old was killed near Williamstown, Kentucky when the school bus he was riding in had a collision with a dump truck. For the story from the Lexington Herald Leader on the Ohio crash, click here.

In the Kentucky crash, the dump truck crossed the centerline and struck the bus in the rear of the driver’s side. Speed is a potential factor in the Kentucky accident. The dump truck was hauling rock from the Butler Rock Quarry in Granite County, Kentucky. The driver, Fransico Youlfo of Grant County, drives for XXL Trucking, Inc., which is based in West Liberty, Ky. For the story from Northern Kentucky Enquirer on the Kentucky crash, click here.
See also the MSNBC TV report on the crash.

Yellow means caution. Sadly, that cautionary warning wasn’t enough for either of these Kentucky truck drivers. But we believe that to protect the children and other passengers on buses, more than just the color of the vehicle has to scream safety. Saving lives requires more than yellow paint.

Ten children were injured in the Kentucky accident. How many of these injuries could have been avoided if the bus had been equipped with the same safety features that are required on automobiles – air bags and seatbelts?