Driver Dead, 9 Students Hurt In N.M. School Bus Crash


Posted on 8th April 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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The driver was killed and at least nine children were hurt Monday morning when a school bus in New Mexico rolled over and crashed, according to the Associated Press.

Authorities investigating the crash in Vallecitos in northern New Mexico where trying to determine what caused the accident, and whether the bus driver was killed by the crash or another reason, such as him suffering a heart attack, AP reported. The man was 69.

The Mesa Vista School District bus was driving on State Road 111 in Carson National Forest when it went off the road, fell off a cliff and crashed into an embankment, according to AP.

Six injured students were transported to a hospital, while three others were treated at the scene.

The passengers on the bus included elementary, middle and high school students, AP said.

N.J. School Bus Crash Hospitalizes Students, Driver


Posted on 18th February 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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New Jersey is overrun by deer, and the lovely creatures can pose dangers.

On Monday seven students and a bus driver were hospitalized following a crash at 3 p.m. in rural Hamilton, N.J., involving a deer, according to The Times of Trenton.

A school bus carrying 14 students from St. Gregory the Great Academy went into a ditch when the driver swerved to avoid hitting a deer, the newspaper reported.

The driver and seven students, from the 4th grade to the 8th grade, were taken to Robert Wood University Hospital Hamilton. Monday night, they were in good condition at the hospital, according to The Times.

The children had school on President’s Day, a holiday, to make up for days they were out because of superstorm Sandy last fall, the newspaper reported.


School Bus, Commuter Bus Crash In New Jersey


Posted on 11th January 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A commuter bus struck a mini school bus in the rear in central New Jersey Wednesday morning, seriously injuring several passengers, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark.

The accident happened at about 8 a.m. in Old Bridge on Route 9 and involved a 55-seat Academy bus bound for Manhattan and a 24-seat local school bus, The Ledger reported. When the large bus hit the minibus, the small vehicle turned over and hit a power supply station.  The Academy bus then continued moving until it hit a tree, according to The Ledger.

Some witnesses said that school bus had cut off the Academy bus, which had 35 people on it, near a local apartment complex. There were no children aboard the school bus.

Two people, including the driver, from the commuter bus were hospitalized after the accident. Roughly a dozen more people were treated and released, The Ledger reported.

The crash is under investigation, with authorities planning to look at a video from a camera that was in the Academy bus, according to The Ledger.

School Bus Crashes Into Snowplow, Hurting 22 Children


Posted on 21st January 2011 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A school bus with elementary school students crashed into the back of a town snowplow in upstate New York Thursday, injuring 22 children and the bus driver, according to the Associated Press.

The accident took place just before 8 a.m. in Savannah, N.Y., which is about 30 miles west of Syracuse. The two students who were most badly injured in the crash, an 11-year-old boy and a girl, were sitting in the front of the Clyde-Savannah Central School District bus.

The two seriously hurt children were reportedly trapped in the bus for half an hour, and the bus driver was stuck in there for an hour, according to AP.

The front of the bus sustained severe damage, and 16 children were treated and released from a local hospital. The children with the most serious injuries were moved to a Rochester, N.Y., hospital.     



School Bus, Truck Crash Kills Two, Injures 50 Outside St. Louis


Posted on 5th August 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Two were killed and at least 50 others hurt Thursday when two school buses full of children collided with a tractor-trailer outside of St. Louis, according to the Associated Press.

The two buses were packed with eighth-grade St. James band students who were on their way to the Six Flags amusement part, which is about 10 miles from the scene of the accident.

The fatal crash took place near Gray Summit, Mo., which is roughly 30 miles from St. Louis.

Officials didn’t immediately say if the two victims were passsengers on the buses, or from the truck.

One of the buses wound up on top of the tractor-trailer because of the force of the crash, according to AP.

For more on our treatment of this wreck, go to

Pennsylvania Expands Access to Driving Records After Fatal School Bus Accident


Posted on 5th April 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Following a fatal accident, Pennsylvania will now allow school districts and contractors to see the lifelong driving records of bus drivers.

In an announcement Monday, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said that the records that the schools will have access to will include the seriousness of any accidents. The district attorney wants those changes to be effective in time for the start of the next school year.

This charge was sparked by the case of a school bus driver who was charged in a fatal crash in Montgomery County, who more than 10 years ago was also involved in an accident that killed a toddler. As it stands now, schools only have access to driving records dating back a decade.

The man at the center of the issue is school bus driver Frederick Poust, 38, of Schwenksville, Pa. He was charged with vehicular homicide after crashing into a car, killing its passenger Richard Taylor of Gilbertsville, Pa.

Poust had been cited in 1999 for careless driving in an accident where a 2-year-old girl died. That incident set up a national debate on cellphone use while driving.

School Bus Driver Charged With Homicide By Vehicle


Posted on 16th March 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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In a case we reported on before, a school bus driver in Maryland Monday was charged with homicide by vehicle for causing a crash that killed a man and hurt five students. It marks the second time the driver has been charged in a fatal crash.,0,5592567.story

During a press conference Monday, authorities in Montgomery County, Md., said they had viewed from the bus that showed that Frederick Poust, 38, of Schwenksville was negligent in his driving, driving recklessly and causing the fatal accident. The video also showed that Poust had run through several stop signs.

Poust was behind the wheel of a Perkiomen Valley School District bus Feb. 18 when he tried to make a turn onto Perkiomen Valley Middle School West and hit a vehicle driving in the opposite direction.

A passenger in that car, Richard Taylor, 27, of Gilbertsville was killed, while the driver, 41-year-old Freddie Carroll of Perkiomnville sustained serious injuries. Five of the 45 children on the bus had minor injuries.

This isn’t Poust’s first involvement in a fatal car crash. In 1999 was calling his girlfriend on his cellphone when he ran a stop sign and hit a car, killing the toddler Morgan Lee Pena. Her parents become vocal proponents of bans on drivers using cellphones, and they even appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” to argue their case.

Our Most Precious Cargo, Our Most Solemn Responsibility


Posted on 27th March 2009 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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You would probably have to search for a very long time to find anyone who would not agree that the most precious commodity transported on the nation’s highways are our children. They are among our most vulnerable passengers. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children from 2 to 14 years old.

What is more disturbing is the number of school bus crashes which occur in the United States.

safeguard4kids, proponents of seat belts for school buses, lists these NHTSA statistics:

Since different organisations have their own ways of reporting, tracking and calculating school bus accidents and injuries, it is difficult to know how many children are actually injured in school bus accidents. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that school bus crash data is incomplete and that injuries cannot be reliably estimated.1 We do know, however, that lap-shoulder belts can make a significant impact on injury reduction.

* According to the April 2002 NHTSA Report to Congress, every day there are over 144 school bus accidents (26,000 per year) in America and more than 9,500 children are injured in school bus accidents each year.
* According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), there were an estimated 51,100 school bus-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments from 2001 to 2003, which averages to approximately 17,000 children injured in school bus accidents each year. This is the first study to describe nonfatal school bus–related injuries to U.S. children and teenagers treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments using a national sample. This study identified a much greater annual number of school bus–related injuries to children than reported previously.
* Data from the General Estimates System2 indicates that 13,000 people are injured annually in school bus crashes. Of those injured, 46 percent (5,980) were school bus occupants, 8 percent were school bus drivers, 38 percent were occupants of other vehicles, and fewer than 0.05 percent each were pedestrians, pedal cyclists and non-motorists.


According to 2005 data from NHTSA, an average of 21 school age children die in school transportation-related traffic crashes each year. Six of those deaths occur in school transportation vehicles. This number applies only to daily school routes and does not account for extracurricular activities that take place outside of normal school hours.

When I began posting headlines related to school bus incidents and accidents, I went very quickly from concern to shock at the number of school bus accidents occurring every day in this country. I have read follow up stories of drunk driving arrests among bus drivers and wondered why such stories do not elicit the sort of nationwide outrage that other media stories do. Not only are children the most precious cargo on the road, shouldn’t we trust those responsible for their safety to be beyond reproach character-wise?

What baffles me as well is reading over and over of school-buses being rear-ended by drivers who do not seem to pay much heed to those flashing lights or FREQUENT STOPS warnings, not to mention that a school bus should raise within in all of us a heightened sense of caution and care. I cannot even deliver an analogy as I can not imagine anything more fragile and valuable than our children.

There are plenty of stories of pickups and SUVs colliding with school buses in icy weather. Living in the midwest, I have myself observed the invincible driving attitudes of some of these drivers when road conditions are dangerous. They may think they can tackle an arctic storm without slowing down, but headlines say otherwise.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but it is a fact of life that certain times on week days, we can expect that school buses are out on the road. Before we get behind the wheel of our cars and stick the keys in the ignition, we should take a moment to confirm in our minds that there is precious cargo out on those roads and it is the responsibility of each and everyone of us to make sure that cargo is safely delivered to its destination.

Again and again, seat belt regulations for school buses fall through the cracks in state legislation. That means that the burden of the responsibility lies on the shoulders of all of us. staff article ©2009

Police: Students, others hurt in NY bus crash


Posted on 25th February 2009 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Date: 2/25/2009

MIDDLE ISLAND, N.Y. (AP) — Police in New York say 17 students and their driver were taken to hospitals after a school bus collided with a truck on Long Island. None of the injuries is considered serious.

The wreck occurred around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Middle Island. The bus was from the Longwood School District. School district officials and the bus company haven’t returned phone calls seeking comment.

Police say the students were involved in an after-school activity, but they are unsure what it was. The victims’ names have not been released.

The front end of the truck was badly damaged, and many of the bus’ windows were smashed. The truck driver also has been hospitalized.

A police officer was hit by a car while directing traffic surrounding the accident, suffering a serious but not life-threatening back injury. The car’s driver was not charged with any crime.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

Trial Lawyer Group Challenges Midnight Bus Regulation


Posted on 26th December 2008 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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The American Association of Justice, (AAJ) the national trial lawyer group that I play a brain injury leadership role in, has taken a strong stance to prevent last minute regulatory abuse by the Bush Administration. One of the worst aspects of the last days of the Bush Administration is there last days efforts to protect corporate wrongdoers from just claims from those injured by their products. The below press release from AAJ explains the nature of the challenge to such regulations.

Attorney Gordon Johnson
©Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr. 2008

AAJ Challenges NHTSA’s School Bus Safety Rule; Anticipates Long-Delayed Roof Crush Standard Next Week Preemption Clause in Rule Could Grant Vehicle Manufacturers Blanket Immunity from Lawsuits

Washington, DC — A final rule put forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) doesn’t go far enough to curb injuries associated with the nearly 2,000 school bus accidents each year, according to the American Association for Justice (AAJ). The association will file a petition for reconsideration with NHTSA tomorrow, challenging the agency’s final rule on school bus safety.

NHTSA’s final rule requires seatbelts for small school buses but only recommends seatbelts for larger school buses, fearing adding seatbelts on the larger vehicles would limit capacity and be cost prohibitive. Larger buses will be required to increase the seat back height four inches, just a fraction of the cost estimated for adding seat belts. The rule also includes preemption language that attempts to grant blanket immunity to the manufacturing industry that makes buses and their parts. The language would make it difficult to seek restitution through the civil justice system for injuries and fatalities associated with school bus accidents according to AAJ.

“NHTSA continues to allow corporate responsibility to take a back seat to children’s safety,” said AAJ President Les Weisbrod. “There is no reason to include preemption language that attempts to limit consumers’ civil justice rights in a rule about school bus safety except to give corporations yet another handout. Our children’s safety should be a first priority in school bus standards, instead NHTSA included an escape clause for corporate responsibility.”

Next week NHTSA is expected to release a final rule on roof crush resistance standards after years of study and delay. The current standard has been in effect since 1973, well before SUVs, prone to rollovers, were a popular consumer transportation option.

NHTSA was required to deliver a new roof crush standard to Congress by July 1, 2008, but was ordered by Congress to strengthen their proposed rule because it did not significantly reduce loss of life and prevent injury. NHTSA asked for an extension until December 15, 2008.

The timing is significant, because new Administrations generally seek to stay any final rules that have been put forth 60 days prior to the start of the term. The Bush administration had asked all final rules be complete by Nov. 1, 2008. A final rule put out December 15, 2008, could be subject to such a stay.

“On their way out the door, the Bush bureaucrats, continue to do all they can to try to take away people’s rights to access the civil justice system,” added Weisbrod. “We have seen this time and time again—school bus safety, seat belts, drugs and medical devices—the Administration thinks corporations can do no harm.”

As the world’s largest trial bar, the American Association for Justice (formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America) works to make sure people have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system when they are injured by the negligence or misconduct of others—even when it means taking on the most powerful corporations. Visit