A New Jersey bus crash in East Brunswick has caused injuries to at least one child, while 15 others were sent to the hospital to be checked out. The bus accident happened in the morning on January 16, 2017, when a small school bus and a commuter bus collided. Although none of the injuries linked to the East Brunswick bus crash were considered serious, some of the children onboard the school bus were reportedly shaken up.
School Bus Rear-Ends Commuter Bus
According to reports, the school bus accident occurred when the yellow school bus, which was driven by Yinny Perz, rear-ended a commuter bus at around 9:00 a.m. on Monday, January 16, on Route 18. The commuter bus, which was operated by Academy Bus and driven by Antonio Casado, had stopped in the right lane to pick up passengers when it was rear-ended.
Fifteen children from the school bus were taken to the hospital as a precaution, although a four-year-old who was sitting closes to the door of the bus reportedly suffered a broken leg and cuts in the East Brunswick bus crash. The school bus was carrying children to the Yeshivat Netivot Montessori School when the accident occurred.
“He just stopped to let somebody off and ‘boom’—the school bus ran right into it,” commuter bus passenger Isaiah Williams told CBS2. Four passengers from the commuter bus were also taken to the hospital to be for minor injuries and pain, including back, neck, and leg pain.
East Brunswick Police Sgt. Wade Gordon told News 12 that the school bus driver was changing lanes and did not realize the commuter bus was stopped. So far, no charges have been filed in relation to the bus accident.
An employee who worked near the scene of the accident told NJ Advance Media he saw emergency vehicles at the scene of the crash.
“I just saw a couple of kids being walked into an ambulance,” Bob Barz said.
East Brunswick Bus Crash the Second School Bus Crash in New Jersey in a Month
The East Brunswick bus crash is at least the second accident involving a school bus in New Jersey in a month. On December 19, 2016, two children and a driver were injured when a school bus failed to yield the right-of-way to a vehicle. The school bus entered the intersection of Avenue D and 10th Street and collided with the vehicle. Two passengers on the bus—a nine-year-old boy and a 10-year-old boy—suffered head injuries. Meanwhile, the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident also suffered an injury to his face. All three were taken to hospital for treatment, but the injuries were not considered life-threatening.
The driver of the school bus was given a summons for careless driving.
New Jersey Victim from November Bus Crash Identified
New Jersey was also the scene of a fatal school bus crash in November when 62-year-old Lorraine Filozof was killed driving a 16-passenger school bus. The bus was reportedly hit by a 2004 Dodge Durango while driving along Phalanx Road and burst into flames. Filozof was taken to hospital but died from injuries sustained in the accident. Two other people on the bus—a 61-year-old aide and a student—were treated for minor injuries.
The driver of the SUV was taken to hospital but released the following day. The Monmouth County Serious Collision Analysis Response Team and the Colts Neck and Middletown police departments are investigating the accident. Officials have confirmed that the bus was in the proper lane when the head-on collision happened.
School Bus Safety a Concern
Following a high-profile school bus accident in Tennessee that killed six students and injured another 31, school bus safety has been a source of discussion.
Only six states have rules concerning seat belts on large buses. Tennessee had tried to introduce a bill concerning seat belts on school buses but the bill did not pass committee. With more fatal bus crashes in the news, however, safety advocates argue that school buses should be required to have seat belts to keep children safe. Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has changed its mind on school bus safety. After previously arguing that children are safe on school buses, the agency now says children on school buses should have seat belts.
According to the NHTSA, each year six school-age children die in school bus crashes. Approximately 23.5 million students ride school buses between home and school and to school-related activities.
“The position of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is that seat belts save lives,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “That is true whether in a passenger car or in a big yellow bus. And saving lives is what we are about. So NHTSA’s policy is that every child on every school bus should have a three-point seat belt.”
Johnthony Walker, the school bus driver in the Tennessee crash, faces multiple charges concerning his driving. Among those charges are five counts of vehicular manslaughter. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) continues to investigate the accident.
Bus Accident Attorneys
For 25 years, Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman has been committed to representing clients whose lives have been affected by bus accidents. Our experience includes more than 90 bus crashes involving school buses, city buses, charter buses, and other buses involved in serious accidents. We are also heavily involved in bus safety advocacy, working to ensure the people who rely on buses for transportation are protected from harm. Contact us to discuss your options.