It wasn’t the first time she just ran off the road. According to news reports, this middle-aged diabetic school bus driver ran her private car off the road about 15 months before the school bus wreck. Reports state that she was medically cleared to drive the school bus. What a tragedy for all concerned. A dead kindergartener’s family is devastated. A bus driver’s life is changed forever. Vehicular homicide charges. Nightmares. Guilt that wont go away. What should have been done to avoid all these awful circumstances? Maybe the driver was justdistracted. Sixteen kids were on board and in serious danger. One dead and sixteen in danger should justify a real investigation. Police investigations are designed to find immediate driver responsibility, not ‘big picture’ responsibility.
An experienced accident lawyer would drill down and learn the truth. What did the school bus supervisors know? What should they have known? What happened in the bus in the moments before the crash? Cell phone use? Behavior problems with the passengers? Radio use? Mechanical problems? Routing problems, ergo, too many kids to pick up and be on time? Was this a hurried bus driver for another reason? Did the bus’ mechanical performance play a role? Was the bus and/or driver provided by an independent contractor? If so, how about the contractor’s safety record? Was this just another problem in a series? Did outside factors contribute…road design, road maintenance, vehicle manufacturer’s defect?
Attorneys in our family have been asking questions like these for eighty years. I’ve been asking them for more than thirty-five. Experience counts.
Maybe this case was just the fault of the bus driver…or maybe not.