A school bus and dump truck accident in New Jersey took the life of an 11-year old triplet girl. Several other children, including two of the girl's sisters, were also injured in the crash.
The National Transportation Board, the Chesterfield Police Department and Burlington County prosecutors have been investigating the accident for close to a year, and officials have just recently released a number of documents that pertain to the crash. The accident occurred at 8:05 in the morning, and the bus was traveling through an intersection when it was struck by the eastern bound dump truck.
The collision was so severe that it caused the bus to spin around and smash into a traffic light pole. The bus driver claimed to have looked both ways while stopped at the intersection, and then proceeded into the intersection because he did not see the truck approaching. "It looked like I almost made it," the bus driver was quoted as saying.
The bus driver had only been on his job for three weeks at the time that the accident occurred. When speaking to investigators, he stated that he only had three days of training with another bus driver before he began transporting students on his own.
The parents of the young girl have since filed a wrongful death lawsuit against both drivers and their employers. If preliminary reports from the investigation are correct, there appears to be good reason for why their attorneys have added employers to the lawsuit as defendants.
Though we probably won't know until the trial begins what the training of the school buses actually entails, three days of training seems suspiciously short. Especially when it comes to our children, safety has to be a primary factor in the hiring and training of employees. We need to make certain that drivers of school buses are competent at their job, and know precisely what to do to get school children back and forth from their homes safely.
Source: phillyBurbs.com, "A grim anniversary: Chesterfield residents remember fatal school bus collision," by Jeannie O'Sullivan, Feb. 18, 2013
- More information regarding your legal rights in the event of an auto, motorcycle or truck accident can be found at our New Jersey lawyers' website.