Bus accidents take multiple lives

Paige Schneider, Staff Reporter

Just after 8 a.m. on October 30th at the corner of East Bougainvillea and Marvy avenues in Tampa, Florida, 5 children and 2 adults were hit at a bus stop. The accident left one of the kids in critical condition, and the rest of the victims were taken to a hospital where their injuries were treated. Luckily, no one passed away from this event. Witnesses say that the driver of the car was speeding before the crash, but police say that the crash wasn’t intentional. The driver, identified as Brain Darnell West, was not impaired when this took place. Sadly, this was the fourth accident during the week of the 30th where children were hit by vehicles as they were heading to or waiting at a school bus stop.

At Tyrone Elementary, a second-grade student was fatally struck by a vehicle in Franklin Township at around 7 a.m. The student was standing at a bus stop when he was hit. In a similar occurrence, 9-year-old Dalen Thomas was killed in Mississippi on the 29th of October when he was boarding a school bus. Thomas had been crossing highway 370 in Lee Country when he was hit by a pickup truck. The driver of this truck, 22-year-old Hunter Newman, was charged with aggravated assault. The last accident happened on the morning of October and resulted in the deaths of three children. Two 6-year-old twin brothers, as well as their 9-year-old sister, were killed by a pickup truck while crossing the street to board a school bus. A fourth child was sent to the hospital with multiple broken bones, but he is alive.

The question is, what’s causing most of these accidents? Is it the fact that the public isn’t properly informed on how to act around a bus while driving, or just that people are lazy and choose to ignore the rules? Almost all of these accidents happen while the bus is parked and children are entering or leaving, and it’s almost always the driver’s fault – the person inside is speeding or refuses to stop when they need to, or are simply not paying attention. I think there should be a greater emphasis put on the rules of passing a bus throughout a drivers learning process. There are things that could be done to prevent these mistakes that end in the loss of life.