At least 23 Lennox Middle School students and two adults were injured in a school bus accident on the 405 (San Diego) Freeway in Los Angeles on January 10, 2009 as the children were returning from a field trip to the La Brea Tar Pits. According to this news report in the Los Angeles Times, the students were treated for bruises, scratches and pains at local hospitals. The school bus crash occurred on the northbound 405 Freeway in West Los Angeles near Palms Boulevard where road work was going on.
The Times quotes several students including 13-year-old Vanessa Gonzalez, who was apparently knocked several feet out of her seat when the bus was rear-ended. Vanessa says she hurt her hip and her back and was “in a lot of pain.” Both drivers – 22-year-old Ulises Torres and 35-year-old Carmen Gutierrez, were evaluated at the scene for signs of impairment. But California Highway Patrol officials say the drivers were not operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The two buses, operated by Durham School Services, were traveling between 50 to 55 mph in moderate traffic when traffic suddenly slowed to a stop. The lead bus came to an abrupt stop and the second bus crashed into it.
My heart goes out to all these children, who were shaken up by such a traumatic Los Angeles school bus incident as they were enjoying a field trip. I’m extremely relieved that none of them was seriously injured in this Los Angeles school bus crash. I wish the injured victims the very best for a quick and complete recovery.
If I were a parent of one of these students I would be mad as &*%$. There are a lot of unanswered questions here. CHP officials are saying that the drivers were not intoxicated. But were they inattentive? I’d bet they were. The crash occurred in the middle of a zone where road work was going on. How did these school bus drivers not know to slow down? Why were they traveling at 55 mph in an area where, obviously, construction was going on? If the drivers are determined to have been inattentive or distracted, the school district and Durham School Services, the bus company, could be held liable for the accident and injuries caused.
I would strongly suggest that parents get their child thoroughly checked by their family physician for any internal injuries. If the accident victims need to undergo medical treatment or parents need therapy for their child, they will be entitled to compensation for those expenses. If parents of injured victims have any questions about their legal rights or options, they should call a Southern California personal injury lawyer. The best Southern California auto accident attorneys will offer a free initial consultation.