Brake Failure on School Bus, No one Injured!

A ride home on the school bus turned into a harrowing experience for some South Florida students when the brakes on the bus failed.

The high school students were on their way home from Spanish River High School on Wednesday. Students who were interviewed after the incident said they heard a loud noise and smelled smoke just prior to their runaway bus began to careen out of control into oncoming traffic. Surveillance taken from inside the school bus shows students panicking as their bus zooms down a busy road.

“We’re trying to get help and everyone is honking,” said Martha Hopfensperger, one of the students. “Other cars, everyone is honking and waving at us like we’re playing a game.”

The students on the bus were frightened not only for their own lives, but for the lives of other drivers and pedestrians that were around them.

After the incident, parents of the Spanish River High School district are more than a little concerned about how well the buses in the district are maintained. “I don’t know what we’re going to do about taking the bus home from now on, because if that’s the way they’re kept, it’s a problem,” said Richard Leon.

The driver of the bus was eventually able to bring the out of control 40-foot long school bus to a halt by rubbing its tires against the curb.

Thankfully, no one was hurt after the incident. Some of the students who were on the bus credit their driver’s cool head and excellent reaction to a dangerous situation with saving their lives. “She was telling us calm down, don’t worry,” said Hopfensperger. “The fact she did what she did, it’s better than I hoped for and I am happy she did what she did.”

The Palm Beach County School District has released the following statement about the incident: “The bus driver took the proper corrective action in order to bring the bus to a full stop. The brake malfunction is under investigation.”

It is clear that these students were extremely lucky in a situation that could have had a tragic outcome.  There may still be civil cases brought against the district and if it is found they have been grossly negligent, they may be liable for the trauma that was caused to the students on board the bus. School districts can do much to insure that children get to and from school safely and without incident. Things such as regular maintenance must be done, especially on buses that are used by schools. Each year, approximately 17,000 children are injured in school bus related accidents. Because generally there are no seat belts in school buses, children on them are exposed to the danger of being tossed around during a crash. Such injuries can be very serious and sometimes fatal.

When we send our kids to school each day, we have the reasonable expectation that they will get to and from their destination safely. Almost all parents will worry when their child is out of sight and entrusted to another person’s care. If your child is injured at school, or is exposed to a potentially dangerous situation either at school or to and from the campus, it can be frightening.

When your child gets hurt or seriously injured, it can mean losing wages from taking time off work. You may even have to take family leave to take care of your child if the injuries are very serious.

If your child has been injured while under the care of others give us a call. Depending on your district’s policy and community ordinances, there may be limitations on the amount of time you have to file a claim. When you call, one of attorneys will discuss the details of your case with you and can get things moving as quickly as possible for your accident case. We have years of experience in settling case and can get the compensation that you and your loved ones are entitled to. We can also help ensure that those involved are held responsible. The initial consultation with our legal office is both confidential and is without cost or obligation to you.