Admirers, family and friends gathered recently on Washington, D.C.’s National Mall to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. According to police, a bus carrying members of King’s family was involved in an accident with another motor vehicle immediately following the event. Sources reported that there were no severe injuries as a result of the accident.
The crash was apparently caused by a red minivan that coasted through a red light without stopping. While the driver hit the brakes, it was too late and the minivan collided with the side of the chartered bus. No one involved was seriously injured, but reality-show contestant Omarosa Manigault, a passenger on the King bus, reported bumping her head in the collision.
Two-ton time bombs
The size and weight of buses lull many of their passengers into a false sense of invincibility. The fact is that buses are involved in thousands of accidents each year, injuring and killing passengers, individuals in the vehicles with which they collide, and pedestrians. Sadly, school buses are not immune from accidents, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reporting 1,386 deaths in school transportation–related crashes over a 10-year period. The most recent victims of such an accident were two preteen girls in Florida, who lost their lives in a collision with a school bus in August 2013.
As is the case in other types of motor vehicle accidents, one of the most important issues is identifying the cause of the accident and determining if the carelessness of an individual or entity might have played a role in the crash. Among other factors, investigations focus on:
- Driver negligence
- Defects in equipment
- Improper bus maintenance
As with other serious roadway calamities, retaining the services of a competent accident lawyer is of the utmost importance.