Seven people, two adults and five children, suffered injuries requiring hospital treatment when the school bus in which they were riding ran off the road and overturned in a ditch. The crash just southwest of Richmond, Virginia (VA), happened on the afternoon of April 21, 2022.
According to police and witnesses, an out-of-control pickup truck sideswiped the school bus. The force of the impact sent the bus onto the shoulder of the highway and through a guardrail.
When first responders reached the scene of the crash near the intersection of Hull Street Road (U.S. 360) and Pocoshock Boulevard in Chesterfield County, they found Good Samaritans atop the overturned bus and working to free students. One news report notes students used seatbelts and that the restraints may have prevented more serious injuries.
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Ambulances took four of the five students aboard the bus to the hospital. A family member transported the fifth student. Each of the children was identified as a special needs student between the ages of 12 and 17. The bus appears to have been taking the kids home after classes and activities at Manchester Middle School.
No one publicly disclosed details on the nature of the injuries suffered by the children and adults on the bus. It is known that the driver of the pickup truck stayed on the scene and answered questions from police. Based on the driver’s statements and witness accounts, the collision happened after the driver went out of their lane and overcorrected their steering while attempting to return all their wheels to the pavement.
Failing to Maintain Control Sets the Stage for Tragedy
Overcorrection causes thousands of car and truck crashes each year. Few of the drivers who lose control of their vehicles after feeling a couple of tires on the shoulder or realizing they have drifted out of their lane careen into school buses. Still, sideswipes, rollovers and collisions of all types commonly occur.
The consensus best advice on how to avoid overcorrecting follows:
If the tires on your vehicle drop off the right side of the roadway, gradually slow down, maintain control of your vehicle, and when your speed has been reduced to a manageable level, turn back left onto the roadway at a time and place it can be done safely. The life you save may just be your own.
We cannot know from news reports whether the driver of the pickup who set the crash on Hull Street Road in Chesterfield County into motion will face charges. We can, however, state that the families whose children suffered injuries, as well as the adults aboard the bus, deserve compensation in the form of settled insurance claims.
Consulting with a personal injury attorney who has experience advising and representing victims of crashes involving school buses will clarify the families’ legal rights. Speaking with an attorney will also provide guidance for navigating the insurance claims process.