When it comes to being injured due to a traffic accident or other motor vehicle collision, it’s not unusual for people to assume that public transportation, such as commuter trains and city buses, is safe and that the operators of those conveyances are trained professionals dedicated to performing their jobs with the safety and well being of their passengers foremost in the minds. Similarly, as parents, we expect that our children are going to be safe once they step aboard a school bus every morning.
As passengers on public transport, we all must put our faith in the people running that bus line, railroad or airline. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world and traffic accidents do occur — and more than we would like. As Maryland personal injury lawyers and commercial trucking, automobile and motorcycle accident attorneys, we understand the expectation of safety that every parent must feel regarding school bus safety.
A story that caught our eye a little while ago points up how close to tragedy many people come from time to time. According to news articles, a school bus driver was charged for her part in a traffic accident on a stretch of Rte 1. Based on state police reports, 53-year-old Brenda Gosch was driving a 2007 Blue Bird school bus on a Friday morning around 8:30 when she attempted to turn onto a side road.
Apparently due to driver error, the bus turned in front of an oncoming tractor-trailer rig driven by a 45-year-old Maryland trucker, Paul Clauson. The semi tanker driver could not avoid hitting the school bus, which thankfully was unoccupied except for the driver. The tanker was reportedly half-full of fuel at the time of the collision, however no spillage occurred and there was no fire.
Emergency responders arriving on the scene likely tended to the two drivers. Clauson’s injuries were reportedly minor and he was transported to Milford Memorial Hospital for back strain. Gosch, who was uninjured, was charged by police for failing to yield the right of way to the Clauson’s 2004 Kenworth.
State police investigators were still looking into the accident at the time of the news report and there was no mention given as to any other causes for the accident. Although driver error was cited as the cause in this instance, defective equipment is always a possibility in bus or truck crashes depending on the particular circumstances surrounding the accident.
UPDATE: School bus driver charged in crash, WGMD.com, January 14, 2011