Articles Posted in Bus Accident

A school bus accident in Williston sent 13 students to Regional General Hospital with minor injuries Wednesday.  

According to reports, Levy County school bus 0409 was stopped at a railroad crossing in the 800 block of East Noble Avenue shortly after 7:30 a.m. when the driver of a 2006 Dodge truck struck the bus from behind.

The driver of the Dodge truck was cited for following too closely, according to reports. The students on the bus attend Joyce Bullock Elementary and Williston Elementary schools.

As a parent, there is nothing scarier than finding out your child has been injured while getting to and/or from school on a school bus. When you send your children on a school bus, you trust that they will arrive at their intended destination safely. Even though school buses are widely considered to be the safest form of transportation for school children, the reality is that injuries on school buses can and do happen. If your child suffers an injury on a school bus, you may be entitled to financial compensation for any medical bills or other damages endured. After an accident like this, you should always contact a Levy County Injury Lawyer at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible to discuss a potential legal claim.

There are many complicated issues surrounding school bus accident cases and it is important to make sure you receive the maximum amount of compensation you deserve for your child’s losses. Losses/damages can include:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disabilities
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

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The city of Palm Coast introduced plans Tuesday that will help protect students from getting hit by vehicles.

The Flagler county school district said five students have been hit this year, including one killed, while going to or from school.

The city says more than 5,000 students ride a bus to school.

On Tuesday, council members decided to put a pilot plan in place to install concrete bus stop pads where students will be able to stand.

The idea is to provide children with a place to wait that is off the street, adding a level of protection. When kids have no place to stand, they tend to roam around, run around, jump and play, which could easily lead to a collision with a moving vehicle.

The city will start with three bus stop pads at cost of between $800-$900 each. It also plans to add additional signs so drivers know it’s a bus stop.

While this certainly won’t solve all the problems with children and bus stop accidents, it’s a way to start. Many bus stops are along busy streets, and at certain times of the year, low-light conditions can make it harder for drivers to spot children who are in the road. Bus drivers may also have trouble seeing kids, especially when they unexpectedly move behind, under, or in front of the bus at a bus stop.

When waiting for the bus, children should be made aware of the following precautions:

  • Stay at least 10 feet back from the edge of the road.
  • Wait for the bus to stop completely before boarding.
  • After getting off the bus, wait for the bus driver to signal that it is OK to cross the street.
  • Use the handrail when entering or leaving the bus.
  • Never walk behind the bus.

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Since 2001, the first full week of August has been dedicated to National Stop on Red Week. This year, National Stop on Red Week is August 2-8. The purpose of this week is to promote safe driving practices, which include always stopping at a red light.

Red light running is a pretty big issue across the United States. In fact, red light running is the leading cause of urban car accidents. It may be surprising, but one out of every three people knows someone who was killed in a red light collision. Red light crashes are responsible for around 900 deaths and 165,000 injuries each year.

A couple of traffic lights installations with the red ones turned on and the green and yellow off captured against a blue sky with several white clouds scattered over.

In 2013, the latest year for which complete information is currently available, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that:

  • Red light accidents resulted in 697 fatalities. Nearly half of the people killed were pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists other than the one who ran the red light.
  • Another 127,000 people were injured in red light accidents.
  • Failing to stop for a red light, stop sign, or all other forms of traffic control is the most common type of crash in urban areas.

While running a red light may save you two minutes, stopping at a red light can actually save your life. Please join our Florida Auto Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton and do your part to stop Florida red light accidents. Here are a few tips to always remember when behind the wheel:

  • Always stop when the light is red, no matter what.
  • If you plan to turn right at an intersection where right turns are permitted at red lights, always stop and check for cars and pedestrians before making the turn.
  • If the light turns yellow while you are approaching an intersection, slow down and stop. Do not try and speed through the intersection in order to beat the red light.

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October 8 is International Walk to School Day, a day when thousands of schools in the U.S. and in 40 countries strive to raise awareness about walking and bicycling to school. This day expresses the need for walkable communities throughout the world and encourages more children to walk to school.

This day urges the need to educate the public about pedestrian safety. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2012, car accidents resulted in the death of a pedestrian every two hours and an injury every seven minutes. In this same year, 4,743 pedestrians were killed and approximately 76,000 were injured in car accidents.

6220732639_8e5aa04c06_mThe NHTSA defines a pedestrian as “a person on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting or lying down who is involved in a motor vehicle traffic crash.” With that said, every single person is a pedestrian on a regular basis, whether it is a young child walking to school or an adult walking across a shopping mall parking lot. Our Florida Car Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton work with families every day who have had their lives turned upside down because of a negligent driver who failed to pay attention to a biker or pedestrian sharing the roadway. Injuries to pedestrians struck by cars can vary from cuts, bruises and scrapes to broken bones, spinal cord trauma and death.

Children under the age of 16 accounted for 6 percent of pedestrian deaths and 18 percent of pedestrian injuries caused by car accidents in 2012. In that same time period, pedestrians age 65 and older made up 20 percent of pedestrian deaths and 9 percent of pedestrian injuries as a result of auto accidents.

Motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians can be truly devastating. The NHTSA urges everyone to follow the below safety tips when walking or driving.

Pedestrians should always:

  • Walk on sidewalks when possible.
  • Make sure that electronic devices do not interfere with sight or sound.
  • Attempt to make eye contact with drivers as they approach, or make sure they are visible to drivers.
  • Cross streets at intersections and crosswalks and walk facing traffic as drivers expect pedestrians to do these things.
  • If there are no crosswalks, cross streets where there is good visibility so that you can be seen clearly by other drivers.
  • Stay away from places where pedestrians are prohibited, like freeways and restricted-access highways.
  • Wear bright or reflective clothing at night.
  • Avoid walking while intoxicated at any time.

Drivers should always:

  • Keep an eye out for pedestrians, even in unexpected places.
  • Be extra cautious when visibility is limited by inclement weather.
  • Be prepared to stop at crosswalks and intersections.
  • Stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • Refrain from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Follow the designated speed limit, especially in areas with pedestrians.
  • Observe reduced speed limits near schools, playgrounds and all other areas where children are known to gather.

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A Bradford County school bus carrying 15 elementary school students was rear-ended by a big rig Monday afternoon near the intersection of U.S. 301 and State Road 201A in Lawtey.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, there were 10 people transported to area hospitals – the 35-year-old driver of the log-hauling big rig and his female passenger were taken to Shands in Gainesville with critical injuries, and seven children and the bus driver were taken to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.

Authorities believe the most serious injury among the children was a leg injury.

According to the sheriff’s office, the woman in the semi was not wearing any clothes. Troopers gave her a towel to cover up in front of the children.

5554917910_b21c0bb5db_mWitnesses claim the semi was travelling at 60 mph when it slammed into the bus, which investigators said had its crossing arms out and lights flashing.

The crash happened on U.S. 301 near Northwest 183rd Street at about 2:45 p.m. As the school bus was coming to a stop, it was struck from behind by the semi, which is owned and operated by Mo’s Trucking out of Palatka.

The Sheriff’s Office said the bus driver saw the semi coming in the rear-view mirror and sped up, which possibly minimized the impact. If the bus had been stopped to unload students, the crash could have been tragic.

Witnesses claim the truck driver never hit the brakes, as he plowed into the back of the bus and pushed it more than 50 yards into a ditch.

The FHP said dispatchers received a call about a reckless driver in a tractor-trailer on U.S. 301 before the crash occurred. However, before they could catch up with the vehicle, the state patrol and local Sheriff’s Office received a call about the crash.

FHP said charges are pending. They do not have any indication that alcohol or drugs were a factor, but said speed and/or distracted driving could have played a role.

Records indicate that the driver of the semi has several previous driving citations. He had his license suspended in 2011 when his insurance was canceled, and it was suspended in 2013 for failure to pay a fine.

He was cited with driving with a suspended license in 2007 and in 2011, speeding in 2011, operating motor vehicle in unsafe condition in 2012 and a tag violation in 2013.

Accidents involving school buses can be quite traumatic. While we do not generally hear about these accidents happening frequently, they do occur, and probably more often than you think. There are an estimated 585,000 school buses operating in the United States right now. School bus accidents result in a reported 17,000 visits to emergency rooms every year.

If you have been the victim of a school bus accident that involved a semi truck, there are things you can do to obtain financial compensation for injuries and damages. In many of these accidents, truck drivers are not insured, which can create additional problems for victims, since the person responsible for the accident cannot pay for the damages. When this unfortunate scenario happens to you, you need to contact a Florida Truck Accident Injury Lawyer at Whittel & Melton. We can help you understand all of your legal options and assist you with pursuing a legal claim against the truck driver and/or trucking company in order to recover damages.

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General Motors was hit last week with another lawsuit brought on by more than 650 people who were allegedly injured or killed in accidents involving cars that have been recalled this year for faulty ignition switches.

The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court by a Texas-based attorney. Dozens of cases against GM over the switch recall have been consolidated in Manhattan federal courts.

The suit names a total of 658 plaintiffs, including 29 who are bringing claims on behalf of people who died.

Whenever a motor vehicle accident occurs in Florida, or anywhere else throughout the country, it creates a series of events that cost money. While these costs are not always apparent to other people, make no mistake, car accidents can be quite expensive.

When viewed as a whole, the numbers are downright shocking. A recent study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration demonstrates that motor vehicle accidents cost more than $870 billion in economic loss per year. This study examined data from 2010. That $870 billion can be broken down even further to a personal basis, averaging an estimated cost of $900 per person in the U.S., which does not just apply to accident victims, but all people residing in this country.

traffic betchNHTSA’s study, “The Economic and Society Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010,” focuses on some of the behavioral factors that influenced that year’s nearly 33,000 highway fatalities, 3.9 million injuries and 24 million damaged vehicles. According to the study, three driver behaviors including speeding, drunk driving and distracted driving, accounted for 56 percent of the economic loss to the nation and 62 percent of the societal harm. Societal harm is described as harm due to loss of life and decreased quality of life.

What is not so shocking is that drunk driving accidents were found to be among the most expensive kinds of accidents. These accounted for 18 percent of the total economic loss and 23 percent of the overall societal harm.

Speeding accounted for 21 percent of the overall economic loss costing the nation $59 billion and 24 percent, or $210 billion, of the societal harm.

Distracted driving crashes were responsible for 17 percent of the total economic loss and cost $46 billion. These crashes accounted for $129 billion, or 15 percent, of the overall societal harm.

On a positive note, researchers for this study concluded that using seatbelts led to a savings of almost $70 billion in medical care, lost productivity and other costs that were not incurred. For now, around 5 percent of the total economic loss involved people in auto accidents where they were not buckled up or did not properly fasten their seatbelt.

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Memorial Day weekend is finally here and many of you will be setting out to enjoy the official start of summer with our state’s numerous recreational possibilities. With that said, it is estimated that close to 34 million people will be hitting the road over the long holiday weekend and traveling at least 50 miles from home. Whether you are staying local or making a trek to a family member or friend’s home, the Florida Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton urge you to drive safely and exercise caution this holiday weekend.

Memorial Day weekend is supposed to be a time for remembrance and celebration. Whatever type of activity you choose to partake in this weekend, we urge you to do so responsibly. Make sure if you are driving to always pay attention, look out for any roadside construction and always see to it that everyone in your vehicle is buckled up. Remember, if you are going to be drinking at any point during the holiday weekend, just be sure to have a designated driver set in place.

memorial day flagAccording to AAA, the amount of motorists travelling on the roadways this Memorial Day weekend will be at a 10 year high. Dating back to past Memorial Day weekends, statistics show that there is an increase of more than ten percent in motor vehicle accidents vs. other holiday weekends.

You can help exercise safety this Memorial Day weekend just by brushing up on a few safety steps:

  1. Always give yourself enough time to get from Point A to Point B.
  2. Follow all posted speed limits.
  3. Limit Driver Distractions.
  4. Make sure everyone, including those in the back seat, is wearing their seat belt.
  5. Do not drink and drive. In fact, make sure you have a designated driver assigned before you start drinking so that you are not tempted to drive after consuming alcoholic beverages.

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A total of ten people were injured in a school bus crash on Monday near Walt Disney World.

According to Orange County Fire Rescue officials, 50 students were on the bus headed to a local middle school. Nine of those students were transported to local hospitals with injuries.

The crash happened near Winter Garden Vineland Road and Mystic Circle just before 9 a.m.

Ten people were injured in a school bus crash on Monday near Walt Disney World.

Ten people were injured in a school bus crash on Monday near Walt Disney World.

According to troopers, the driver of the school bus, a 55-year-old woman, was travelling east attempting to make a left turn when she drove into the path of a PT Cruiser travelling southbound on C.R. 535. The 26-year-old driver of the PT Cruiser tried to avoid hitting the bus, but was unsuccessful and slammed into the left side of the bus. She also suffered injuries in the accident.

According  to the Florida Highway Patrol, the bus driver was ticketed for violating the right of way.

Another school bus arrived to take the remaining students to school, according to officials.

While bus accidents might not occur that frequently in Florida, when they do, the results are often catastrophic. Due to the tremendous size and weight of these vehicles, and the fact that they have a high center of gravity, many bus accidents result in wrongful death or leave those involved with very serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord trauma, burn injuries, broken bones, loss of limbs and disfigurement.

School buses, charter buses, city buses and other commercial buses and passenger vans are classified as “common carriers” under Florida law. For these vehicles to operate, drivers must follow certain industry specific regulations that are designed to protect the general public. Drivers of common carriers must be extra cautious when on the roadways in order to keep passengers and the general public safe from harm.

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A 14-year-old Pompano Beach teen that was run over by a Broward County public bus remains hospitalized in critical condition and is now in a medically induced coma.

The teen apparently suffered multiple fractures to the face, ribs and an ankle.

According to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the teenager was injured about 9 a.m. Friday as he ran for the bus near the 1200 block of East Sample Road.

1363811_wheels_on_a_bus.jpgA BSO spokeswoman said the teen ran ahead of his mother to hold the bus and jumped onto the side of the vehicle. Witnesses told investigators he held on for nearly a minute and then fell. He was run over by at least one of the bus wheels.

Passengers on board the bus told police that they screamed at the bus driver to stop as the boy’s arm became stuck in the door.

The incident is currently under investigation. However, the 55-year-old bus driver could face charges if investigators determine he acted criminally. The Margate bus driver has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation by BSO.

The bus driver has been employed behind the wheel for 12 years, during which he has been involved in two minor accidents, neither resulting in serious injury.

The first accident happened in September 2010, after the bus he was driving was struck by a car as he executed a right turn onto West Oakland Park Boulevard.

Then, in November 2012, the bus driver scraped the wheel well of another bus as he pulled into a bay at the central terminal on West Broward Boulevard.

Broward County’s Accident Review Board said both accidents were preventable.

While we don’t usually hear about bus accidents occurring in Florida every day, that doesn’t mean they don’t happen. Sadly, when these types of accidents do take place, victims are often seriously injured or even killed. The sheer size of these vehicles combined with speed can create serious bodily harm when an accident arises.

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