A crash involving two public school buses and a passenger vehicle in Brunswick County, North Carolina (NC), on the afternoon of Friday, October 27, 2017, sent 28 people to hospital with injuries. Most of the injured people were students from Virginia Williamson Elementary.
Highway Patrol troopers said the wreck at the intersection of Southport Supply Road and Hewettown Road near the town of Bolivia started when one of the buses rear-end a car. The car was then pushed forward into the back of the other school buses.
Authorities continued investigating through the weekend, and no charges were immediately filed against any of the drivers. While no details about the nature or severity of the injuries suffered by the children were released to reporters, most of the students who went to the hospital were treated and released within a few hours. No information was available on the condition of the two people in the car that was sandwiched between the buses.
Southport Supply and Hewettown roads come together at a T intersection with a stop sign on Hewettown. In that situation, the driver of the bus that struck the car would have responsibility for causing the chain reaction if he or she failed to stop or remain stopped as the lead bus driver waited to turn left or right onto Southport Supply.
During 2015, the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles recorded seven school bus crashes with nine injuries in Brunswick County. Across the state that year, 857 wrecks involving school buses resulted in eight deaths and 839 injuries.
Those injury, death and crash rates are actually quite low when calculated in terms of the tens of thousands of miles traveled by school buses in a year. Still, my Carolina personal injury colleagues and I know of no parents who would shrug off an injury to their child just because school bus crashes happen rarely. One injury or death would be too many.
Families who receive large medical bills following this Virginia Williamson Elementary bus crash near Bolivia should consult with a personal injury lawyer who has experience helping students harmed by a bus driver’s negligence. Dealing with insurance companies that represent school districts is always difficult, so enlisting the assistance of a dedicated legal advocate will let the family focus on their child’s recovery instead of fights over liability and money.