A school bus accident in Anaheim Hills has left three students and the bus driver seriously injured after the vehicle left the roadway and crashed into trees the afternoon of April 24, 2014. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the injury crash, involving an Orange Unified School District bus was reported on Nohl Ranch Canyon Road near East Walnut Canyon Road. Anaheim police officials say the bus left the roadway and struck a tree and a lamppost. Investigators are not clear why the driver lost control of the bus.
Critical Injuries Reported
Twelve people were treated by paramedics including the driver. Three children were taken to hospitals, two of them in critical condition. The driver was also critically injured. The other occupants of the bus were released to their parents and were expected to seek medical care. The bus was transporting students home from El Rancho Charter Middle School.
The Register talked to a 14-year-old student who was sitting in the back of the bus. He said the bus was going into a slight turn when it suddenly went off the roadway and crashed. The student, identified as Jak Pintches, said his back was injured in the collision. A small part of a tree was forced into the bus, cutting at least one girl in the leg. California Highway Patrol officials are investigating the incident.
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who was injured in this school bus crash. We wish them all the very best for a quick and full recovery.
What Caused This Crash?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 2009 statistics, between 2000 and 2009, 1,386 people have died in school transportation-related crashes nationwide. Occupants of school transportation vehicles accounted for 8 percent of the fatalities.
Based on this news report, it is not clear what caused this school bus crash. There are still several unanswered questions here. Was the driver impaired? Did he have some type of a medical condition? Was the bus properly maintained? Were there any maintenance-related malfunctions that caused the bus to go out of control? Was the bus driver distracted or inattentive at the time? These are just a few of many questions investigators will be asking as they look into the cause of this collision.
Protecting Victims’ Rights
In such cases, the school district and/or bus operator can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused. It would be in the best interest of all the children involved in this crash to be thoroughly examined for injuries. It is important that they get prompt medical attention and treatment. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Victims or their families would also be well advised to contact an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer who will stay on top of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.