A tractor trailer collided with a school bus injuring 14 students and the driver of the truck. The accident occurred at 3:20 pm Monday, January 7, 2019, in South Harrison. According to police at the scene, the bus was traveling down Ferrell Road made a left turn in the path of the tractor trailer which struck the school bus. Police are also crediting the truck driver with heroism who made a split-second decision to veer off the road and into the trees.
Had he hit his brakes, he would have stayed straight and hit the bus nearly head-on, but by veering off the road, this was avoided. “He wasn’t worried about himself,” said the owner of the trucking company, Herrell Trucking, “he was worried about the kids.”
Thankfully, there were no fatalities in this close call.
When a bus crashes, the results can be devastating because the purpose of the bus is to transport large amounts of people. This means that multiple people can be injured by one mistake. Because of this, to become a school bus driver, one has to go through training and meet certain requirements. You can read about New Jersey’s bus driver requirements here and PA’s requirements here.
An empty tractor-trailer weighs about 43,000 lbs and caps out at about 80,000 lbs fully loaded. This creates problems for any vehicle that tangles with it including a school bus that weighs around 23,000 lbs. These heavy vehicles cause significant problems when operating on public streets. They take almost twice as long to stop and they are difficult to maneuver quickly if needed.
Because of this, motorists driving near a truck need to take extra precaution. According to Automotive Fleet, there are four things most motorists do that increase the risk of accidents with a semi-truck. They are:
- Cutting off a truck in traffic: Cars often do this to get to an exit quickly or they move in to occupy the space directly in front of the truck.
- Lingering alongside a truck when passing. Always pass a tractor-trailer completely and on the left side. If you linger when passing a truck, your position makes it impossible for the truck driver to take evasive action if an obstacle appears in the road ahead.
- Following closely behind a truck: The rule of thumb is to not ride where you can’t see the truck driver’s face in the truck’s rear-view mirror.
- Underestimating the size and speed of an approaching tractor-trailer: Many drives take unneeded risks when operating around a semi-truck. A large number of car-truck collisions take place at intersections because the driver of the car doesn’t realize how close the truck is or how quickly it’s approaching.
Do I need an Attorney?
Always speak to an experienced attorney any time there is a serious injury. An attorney is not needed in each and every case, however, the call is free.
If you or a loved one was involved in a truck, bus or car accident in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, contact The Pearce Law Firm, P.C. We will only advise you of options which are in your best interest. We have experience working with tractor trailer accidents, bus crashes and accidents involving multiple vehicles and multiple injured parties.