Bad Weather Exacerbating School Bus Accidents


Winter weather, medical emergencies and possible malfunctions are driving a spate of school bus accidents nationwide.

A school bus in Somerset County, Pennsylvania recently crashed with a minivan while carrying 13 students from kindergarten through ninth grade. The minivan lost control and smashed into the front of the bus. Both drivers and three students were taken to the hospital for injuries. While the students did not sustain any life-threatening injuries, the status of the two drivers is still unknown.

While the cause of the crash has not yet been released, investigators are keeping quiet as to whether road conditions were a factor.

Another bus accident occurred in Isle, Minnesota as the driver was experiencing a medical emergency, causing the bus to weave from side to side along the highway for 13 minutes with 11 children in the car.

While the bus was en route, one student called 911 to report the medical situation.

A deputy caught up with the bus and deployed a flat tire device to slow the bus down. The bus continued on, still driving in both lanes, before finally coming to rest in a shallow ditch.

None of the students were injured in the incident. The bus driver, 68-year-old Scott Gilbertson was transported to a medical center 12 miles away. The driver's condition is still unknown.

A third accident still has investigators at a loss as they try to decipher what caused a school bus to lose control and crash on Saturday night while carrying 16 students from King's High School in Shoreline, Washington who were returning from a basketball tournament.

In all, 10 people were taken from the hospital due to the crash. In addition to 8 students, the bus driver and basketball coach were also taken in. No one had serious injuries.

Student David Barhanovich, who suffered a concussion from the crash, said the driver said something about not having any brakes before the bus began to pick up speed on a freeway off-ramp.

However, investigators said the brakes were working fine when they looked at the bus the next day, so it may take time before they are able to find out the cause of the crash.

According to school officials, all buses for the school passed the recent inspection in 2014.

The school has not made it public whether or not they will investigate the actions of the driver. John Barhanovich, David's father, said he felt the driver did the best job possible to ensure the safety of the students in the incident. He went on to say he also believes the schools are doing everything they can to keep the buses safe and in working order.

Investigators plan to make use of the onboard camera located on the bus to determine if the footage can further help with their analysis.


02 19, 2015
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