A City of Poquoson school bus driver is facing a reckless driving charge for causing a wreck that injured five public school students and a teacher. The crash occurred on March 20, 2015, while the vehicle was exiting from I-64 to Victory Boulevard in Newport News, Virginia (VA). The bus appears to have slid off wet pavement before running into a ditch. Reports did not indicate whether the driver was exceeding the 25 mph speed limit on the cloverleaf ramp, however, only that she lost control.
The same day, a Franklin, VA, school bus crashed with a minivan in that city, near the intersection of South and Bank streets. According to WAVY-TV 10, the van driver attempted to cut inside the bus when the larger vehicle swung wide to make a right-hand turn. No children aboard the bus got hurt, but the person behind the wheel of the minivan sustained injuries.
Only two of the five injured Poquoson elementary school children required hospital treatment. That can be considered a small bit of good news. Even though relatively few students lose their lives in bus accidents each year relative to the time and distance traveled, serious injuries are not uncommon in real numbers. A comprehensive analysis of emergency room records published in 2006 revealed that some 17,000 school age children got hurt each year while riding, waiting for or getting off of buses.
More than bringing those statistics to life, these two bus accident in southeastern Virginia illustrate the multiple ways in which such wrecks can occur. Slick roads, driver error, impatience and inattention all seem to have played roles to varying degrees in causing each of the accidents. All but one factor can be eliminated by a responsible driver.