Accidents involving school busses are among the most tragic of all, especially because the usual victims of such incidents are young children. These children can suffer from serious injuries that can affect their future. Worst, lives will never be the same for parents and friends who tragically lost a loved one in a dreadful misfortune.
The grief and pain of those who already lost a child is certainly immeasurable. After the untimely death of his son Theodred, Théoden’s father said in sorrowful voice, "No parent should have to bury their child." Sometimes tragedy strikes despite the strict the regulations, the safety protocols, and no matter how careful the driver is.
Some school bus accidents only cause minor injuries. However, when innocent lives are lost, we are often full of questions.
How can this happen? Some accidents are a result of recklessness, bad weather, driver error, or mechanical problem. Some incidents, however, will remain a mystery.
Here are the most tragic and scary accidents that will leave parents shocked and mum.
12 Asleep At The Wheel
After one tragic Thursday morning, life will never be the same for a mother and her daughter. Kenneth, 54-years-old, was driving a truck near Orondo, Washington on Highway Route 97, and fell asleep at the wheel on March 5, 2015.
The truck cut across the center lane, hitting the sedan traveling from the other direction that was driven by Carmela, 22-year-old. The car turned over and plunged towards the embankment, killing her and injuring her 12-year-old passenger.
The truck then slammed into a school bus carrying 43 children, wounding 5 and the bus driver. All the injured were rushed to a hospital and were released after determining they were in good condition.
According to the authorities, the truck driver had been implicated in a crash in the same area in 2014.
11 Student Dragged By Backpack
On a Friday afternoon, May 15, 2015, a little girl from Jefferson Elementary School exited the bus in front of her house. The bus driver, who was apparently was in a hurry, did not notice when the 7-year-old’s backpack got stuck on the door. The bus pulled away, and alongside the bus was the helpless girl. The babysitter who was waiting for her watched in horror as she screamed while being dragged down the residential road.
Thankfully, a red Chevy Camaro came speeding up from behind the bus. The driver, noticing the girl, took action, cut through the neighborhood yard, got in front of the bus, and made the driver stop the bus. The neighbors immediately rushed to check on her. The girl survived with only a couple of road rash, scrapes, and bruises on her.
10 Accident On The Interstate
A witness would recall the incident as surreal. “It was almost like watching an action movie. I was trying to wrap my head around it being real. Oh my God, I'm really seeing this,” says Ineasha Romero. She saw the school bus traveling on the interstate smash through an overpass guardrail and land on the road below.
The Houston school bus was carrying four students heading for Furr High School on Tuesday morning, September 15, 2016, when the driver of a Buick LaSabre traveling on the left side of the school bus, believing that another car was entering the lane, swerved and hit the front of the bus. The bus driver overcompensated and smashed through the guardrail before nosediving onto the road below.
Two of the students, aged 17 and 14, passed away at Memorial Hermann Hospital while two other students were treated for non-life threatening injuries.
9 Brake Failure
Considered among the most dreadful bus crashes in the history of U.S., this accident happened on the 21 May in 1976. A school bus carrying a high school acapella choir from Yuba City to Miramonte High School in Orinda for their friendship day involving the choirs of the two schools tumbled off the freeway ramp near Martinez, California.
The bus, carrying 52 passengers, crashed into an off-ramp guardrail and dove nearly 30 feet to the road below, landing overturned, which crushed its roof, killing 1 adult chaperone and 28 students on site. All the surviving passengers were mostly critically injured. This tragic incident was a result of the driver’s unfamiliarity of the bus he was driving and the failure of the brakes of the bus.
8 The Dangerous Turn
The injured bus driver and eleven students could not believe their luck after their school bus swerved off the road in Anaheim Hills and slammed into a tree on Thursday afternoon, April 24, 2014. The children were eager to go home after a school activity from El Rancho Charter Middle School when the incident occurred.
The bus veered off the road, traveled alongside a hill, and then smashed against a tree and a lamppost. The cause of the crash was not immediately clear, but investigators believed that the bus may have made a “dangerous turn”, or might have been traveling very fast.
The small fragment of the tree that came plunging into the bus could have killed someone. Thankfully, it only injured the leg of one girl. A witness on the site also ran towards the bus, warning the passengers of the leaking gas and helping them get off.
7 Big Sandy Bus Accident
Although the day was cold and cloudy on February 28, 1958, the pavement was dry on U.S. 23 beyond Lancer. Around 7 am in the morning, John Alex, the bus driver, started his usual route from Cow Creek in Prestonsburg, stopping to gather students in the areas of Emma and Sugar Loaf.
The bus would never reach its destination. It crashed into a tow truck getting ready to pull a vehicle out a ditch. After hitting the truck, the bus turned hard left and crossed the road, sideswiped a parked car on its way, rolled down the embankment, and plunged into the cold and the swollen Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River.
Water rushed in through the broken windshield, killing the bus driver and 26 students 8 to 17 years old. Almost six decades later, no one still knows why the driver did not see the tow truck, and the cause of the tragedy remains a mystery.
6 Tree Collision
The school bus that slammed into a tree and split apart one Monday, killing at least six children in Chattanooga, Tennessee on November 21, 2016, was a public safety professional’s worst nightmare. But it is nothing compared to the nightmare the families and friends are going through because of their tragic loss before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Thirty-seven children, kindergarten-fifth grade students from Woodmore Elementary School, were on the bus when it spun to its side and slammed into a tree. It took almost 2 hours for emergency responders to get the children off the vehicle because the bus was wrapped around the tree. Five children were killed on site of the crash, six critically injured, six admitted for non-critical injuries, and 20 treated and released from local hospitals.
The driver has been arrested and charged with 5 counts vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment and reckless driving.
5 Rollover Accident
Fifty middle and high school students had the scare of their lives when the Crosby ISD school bus they were riding in crashed into a ditch and flipped over Friday afternoon, September 23, 2016. The bus driver told investigators that she swerved to miss another vehicle and lost control. Children screamed with fear as the bus rolled to its side.
Crosby firefighters and several ambulances immediately responded to the site on FM 1942 near Bohemian Hall. Several other Crosby ISD staff members and teachers also rushed to the scene to help. Sixteen students and the driver were hurt, but the injuries are not life threatening. Although the injuries were only superficial bruises and bumps, they were rushed to a hospital to make sure that they were alright.
No students were trapped on the bus, and the uninjured students were taken to the Operations Center where their parents and guardians picked them up.
4 Bus Crashes Into House
Homeowner, Joe Whitehead, was in horror when he heard something slam into his house on Tuesday morning, May 30, 2016, in southeast Charlotte. She recalled hearing children screaming and rushed to find out what happened.
As it turned out, a school bus went off the road, down the embankment, hitting a parked car before falling down the hill. Thankfully, a tree and Joe’s house stopped the bus from falling any further.
A student interviewed said that after the bus stopped moving, some people jumped out the window, while some jumped out the exit. Fifteen people suffered minor injuries and were rushed to the hospital. The driver was briefly trapped and only suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Although Joe’s house was damaged, he was certainly thankful that only his deck was ruined and no lives were lost.
3 Accident On Asheville Highway
One adult and 2 children were tragically killed when 2 buses crashed in Knoxville, Tennessee on Asheville Highway on December 2, 2014. At least 23 others suffered injuries as well.
Two buses, carrying adults and kindergarten through third-grade children from Chilhowee Intermediate and Sunnyview Primary did not know the tragic incident that would befall them that Tuesday afternoon. School bus no. 44 and school bus no. 57 were traveling from opposite directions when they crashed.
Official reports say that after bus 44 made a sharp left turn and when it crossed over some concrete median, it collided with bus 57, hitting the side, causing the other bus to flip sideways and slide until it stopped.
Both schools involved in this unspeakable tragedy canceled classes to pay respect the unfortunate victims whose lives were cut short.
2 Bus Explosion
It all happened quickly. One moment the bus was carrying tired, but happy teens returning from Kings Island amusement park on May 14, 1988. The next minute, there was a glaring headlight from a pick-up truck on its path. A crash, a fire, and a frantic struggle against death followed on Interstate 71 in the unincorporated Carroll County, Kentucky.
One bystander saw children struggling to get out the back door of the bus, but it would not open. Along with other witnesses, they pried the back door open and were able to get 9 kids off the bus. A few moments later, the second tank exploded and there was too much flame and too much heat to do anything.
1 Four Bus Pile-Up
It was a typical day for bus drivers and students on a Wednesday afternoon, May 22, 2013.
They were taking the same route back home from school when the school bus at the back of the line slammed into the back of another one, setting off a chain-reaction that resulted in a crash involving four buses in northern Indiana.
The incident led to one driver seriously injured, and about 50 middle and high students and 3 bus drivers with non-serious injuries.
About 125 students from Wawasee School Corp. were on the buses when the accident occurred. The injuries were not as bad as responders initially thought since the school buses were built to sturdy standards and the seats had higher backs. Parents were very thankful that nothing worse happened and most of the injuries were minor.
Sources: Rootsweb.ancestry.com, En.Wikipedia.org, Youtube.com, Nytimes.com, Upi.com, Klewtv.com, Ocregister.com, Khou.com