A bus carrying UMass Amherst students on a ski trip to Canada crashed on a Vermont highway Friday. The crash happened when the 49-year-old bus driver lost consciousness. According to owner of bus company, Tour World, the driver felt a tingling and started to pull over, but it was too late.
The bus was carrying 44 passengers when it swerved across the I-91 median into an embankment and flipped onto its side. Sixteen of the student passengers were treated for injuries including concussions, wounds and back injuries. Four of them were taken to the emergency room for critical injuries.
According to the bus company owner, the driver had no known medical conditions and passed a physical 6 months ago. He was hospitalized overnight at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire.
The ski trip was organized by a private group, but UMass sent university vehicles to the scene to transport students back to campus. Some of the students continued on to Canada.
The driver and passengers are fortunate that no one was killed in this accident. More than 250 people are killed and more than 15,000 people are injured every year in bus accidents like this one. Although the media has said that no serious injuries have been reported yet, concussions, like all other head injuries, are very serious. Sometimes it can take weeks for a doctor to recognize a traumatic brain injury, and repeat concussions can lead to devastating consequences. So the risks are amplified here, given the fact that some of these students may have suffered concussions and went on to ski where they could suffer more blows to the head.
It is unclear whether anyone could be held responsible for injuries suffered from this accident. It seems that the driver may have been driving carefully and suffered an unexpected heart attack, but an experienced personal injury lawyer could look into all of the facts and circumstances and assess your case.
Daily Collegian, UMass Ski and Board Club bus overturns on I-91
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