On November 3, 2011, two school buses full of students and adults from Louisville Collegiate School in Kentucky were headed to Mammoth Cave on a field trip when one of the buses left the road and rolled over near Glasgow, Kentucky. Of the passengers aboard, 16 children and 3 adults were admitted to a hospital in Glasgow. Their injuries ranged from broken bones and cuts and bruises to a potential back and head injury. Lawrence Austin, the bus driver, stated that the trailer of a truck hit the side of the bus, causing the bus to leave the roadway and roll down the embankment. The driver of the truck did not stop and investigators initially saw no signs of collision on the bus.
Kentucky State Police completed their investigation of the bus accident and released their findings earlier this week. They did discover some white paint on the on the left side of the front fender of the bus, which confirms the bus driver's account of being hit by a white semi. The damage was so minimal the truck driver may not have even been aware that he struck the bus, so he did not stop. The search for the truck driver was called off just hours after the accident because there was no evidence of a collision found initially and the description of the truck was very limited. Kentucky State Police spokesman Jonathan Biven said searching for the truck would have been like "looking for a needle in a stack of needles."
What caused the truck trailer to veer into the other lane and hit the school bus will probably never be determined. Investigators believe the weather may have been involved because it was raining. Other factors such as the condition of the truck, the weight of the load in the trailer, and the truck driver's driving record and attention to the road will never be known since the driver did not stop and the search for the truck was called off before it was found. Charges are not expected to be brought against Mr. Austin, the driver of the bus. He has no known driving issues and the bus was recently inspected over the summer and had no mechanical issues.
Bus accidents can be some of the most dangerous because of the number of people involved and the frequent lack of seat belts. A rollover accident in a bus can cause numerous injuries including head injuries, broken bones or loss of limbs, whiplash, back trauma, and bleeding or bruising internally or externally. Fortunately, in this case, the passengers did not have life-threatening injuries and all have been released from the hospital. In response to the accident a Collegiate spokeswoman said "What remains most important is that all involved in the accident are expected to regain their health. We are first and foremost thankful for this miraculous outcome."
If you or your child have been injured in a bus accident, it is important to contact a Kentucky accident law firm such as Miller & Falkner to determine what action should be taken.
Report released on Collegiate school bus accident; Wave 3 News; Heather Smith; November 9, 2011
State police report says Collegiate bus struck by truck; The Courier-Journal; Joseph Lord; November 10, 2011
Collegiate Bus Crash Hurts 19; The Courier-Journal; Antoinette Konz and Joseph Lord; November 4, 2011