When The Right of Way Goes Wrong: Local School Bus Accident Sends Lakeland Children to Hospital
Sessums Law Group is staunch on our position that drivers have a responsibility to our local Polk County children when it comes to practicing utmost care when near a school or a school bus. Occasionally though, the driver of the bus can make a mistake, and that is exactly what happened here in Lakeland this past week.
On September 20th, a bus carrying 20 children and heading toward Kathleen High School stopped at the intersection of Swindell Rd. and Galloway Rd. Instead of double-checking that he was in the clear though, the bus driver continued through the intersection (when it did not have the right of way) and ended up in the path of a Chevy pickup. The pickup collided with the side of the bus, sending the driver of the Chevy and 4 (child) passengers in the bus to the hospital with minor injuries. The bus driver, whose name has been kept confidential, was cited.
Unfortunately, this type of accident is not uncommon. Buses are not an easy vehicle to maneuver and drive, and when you add in the early morning light and a large number of (likely) loud passengers, you have a recipe for driving mistakes. Buses have a multitude of blind spots, and they are also hard to stop quickly. We encourage all drivers to be extra cautious when driving near buses and schools during the week. Just because you have the right of way, it’s always best to double check and make sure other vehicles, especially buses, have seen you and are fully stopped before continuing into their path.
We are thankful no children were seriously injured in this accident, and we hope all involved have recovered quickly. Please be careful this school year. Responsible driving saves lives of all ages. When the unexpected accident does happen to you, you know who to call. Sessums Law Group handles cases throughout the greater Polk County area, and WE STAND FOR YOU!