The start of the 2015-2016 school year proved more challenging than anyone hoped for more than 40 children and families in Virginia and West Virginia when the buses on which the students were riding crashed. The earliest accident occurred August 21 in the Monroe County, WV, community of Pickaway, when a pickup truck slammed into a busload of elementary, middle and high school students on Route 219. Twelve children required hospital treatment for non-life-threatening injuries, and police believe the driver of the pickup caused the collision, hitting the bus with enough force to cause it to roll over onto its side.
The following Monday, August 24, another 12 students suffered injuries when their bus driver ran off Twin Springs Road in Scott County, VA. Four of the kids sustained serious wounds in the wreck that began with the bus operator swerving to avoid an animal in the roadway. The man lost control, ran off the opposite side of the two-lane road and crashed into a rock wall. Law enforcement officials charged the bus driver with failure to maintain control.
Most recently, on August 25, a school bus wrecked in a construction zone along U.S. 250 in the town of Churchville in Augusta County, VA. It is unclear why the driver ran up on a concrete barrier and ended up driving head-on into a tree. What is known is that a total of 20 students of all ages got transported to hospitals with injuries and that the school bus driver sustained critical injuries. Charges were still pending the next morning.
School bus crashes leave children hurt and parents feeling betrayed and helpless. Sadly, as the accidents across the Virginias show, such terrible incidents can occur in any place at any time for almost any reason. Both the individual behind the wheel of a bus and every other driver sharing the road must maintain control and avoid negligence and recklessness. Sometimes, nature itself poses the problem. Because the risks are so great, adults must do everything they can to ensure the safety of youngsters aboard school buses.