No clear explanation yet existed for why, but an SUV slammed into the back of a Virginia Beach Public Schools bus, sending four children and the bus driver to the hospital with injuries. The rear-end collision happened at the intersection of S. Independence Boulevard and Edwin Drive on the afternoon of February 12, 2018.
According to Virginia Beach Police, the crash near Mount Trashmore happened just after 2 pm. All the children aboard the bus are students in the Southeastern Cooperative Educational Programs at Renaissance Academy. None suffered severe injuries, but a 15-year-old student told reporters that he hit his head and hurt his knee when the force of the collision knocked him over the back of the bus seat in front of him.
A second SUV driver sustained minor injuries when their vehicle was caught up the wreckage. Both of the adults are expected to recover along with the children.
Witnesses say the first SUV hit the bus while the bus was stopped at a red light. It is unclear whether the person who caused the rear-end collision will be charged, but a possible offense would be following too closely. Under section 46.2-816 of the Virginia Code, “The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard to the speed of both vehicles and the traffic on, and conditions of, the highway at the time.”
Taking the bus to and from school is generally safe. Looked at in terms of wrecks by number of trips and miles travelled, school bus crashes occur with relative rarity. But, when a driver acts negligently or recklessly around a bus, injuries frequently result.
During 2015, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles recorded 398 crashes involving school buses. Those wrecks injured 60 drivers and 338 passengers. While no students died in a school bus wreck that year, fatalities have occurred in other years.
As Virginia personal injury lawyers based in Virginia Beach, my law firm colleagues and I know that parents care deeply about the health and safety of their children. While the injuries suffered in this crash at Independence Boulevard and Edwin Drive are reportedly “minor,” each child who got hurt required hospital treatment. The parents should consult with an attorney who can inform them of their legal options for filing insurance claims related to medical bills and wages lost while taking time off from work to care for their children.