Eleven students and the bus driver are recovering after a violent school bus accident in Anaheim Hills, California. The crash happened as the children were being driven home from an afterschool program in the Orange Unified School District. Around 3:30 pm, the bus careened down the hill before jumping a curb and slamming into trees and a lamppost. Two children and the driver were taken to area hospitals in critical condition while nine others were treated for minor injuries.
Photos and video from the aftermath depict the chaotic scene with the severely damaged bus leaning on its side with several downed trees and debris strewn all over the street. The incident took place near the Anaheim Hills Golf Course in an affluent part of the city. According to local authorities, no other cars were involved in the accident. CBS Boston reported that the driver was trapped in the bus for hours before emergency workers were able to free him.
Jak Pintches, 14 told Boston.com the bus was making a turn when it lost control and struck a tree and a lamppost. ”I flew out of my seat and hit the other side of the bus” injuring his back, the student told the Orange County Register as he recounted the scary incident. Pintches also explained that a sharp piece of a tree punctured the metal frame and cut another female student’s leg.
Several witnesses reported seeing gasoline leaking from the bus immediately after the crash and frantically motioned for everyone to get off the bus. Boston.com quotes Andrea Shurtz, a driver in another car that witnessed the incident as saying, “Kids were screaming. Gas was pouring out the back. People just came running from everywhere.”
Shurtz told local news station KABC-TV that she noticed the bus seemed to be going very fast as it made the turn. “It came flying down the hill,” She told the station, ”and took out trees along the way.” She recalled children and the driver screaming for help and waving out the windows at passing motorists.
Authorities said the bus did have seatbelts, but they could not confirm how many passengers were actually wearing them at the time of the accident. There is no immediate word on the cause of the accident, though several witnesses noted that it appeared the bus was travelling too fast when it made the turn.
This is the second major bus accident involving student injuries in Southern California in recent weeks. On April 10, a tragic highway accident involving a Fed Ex cargo truck and a tour bus carrying dozens of first generation college students and their chaperones claimed the lives of five students, three chaperones, and both drivers. The family of one of the deceased students has filed a lawsuit against Fed Ex seeking damages.
Every day, parents watch their children walk out the door and onto a school bus, expecting that they will reach school and return home safety at the end of the day. A parent never wants to see their child get injured or killed. The grief in these situations can be overwhelming while the medical bills and other financial responsibilities add up. At the law offices of Altman & Altman, LLP our team of seasoned Car Accident and Bus Accident Attorneys have nearly 5 decades of experience handling all types of personal injury cases, including those involving children. It may seem impossible to go up against a big bus company, but with our help victims can receive compensation for their lost wages, medical expenses, and damages. One of our senior associates will answer any questions or reservations you might have, and will remain with you throughout the entire process, explain each step along the way.
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