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Tragedy Averted Thanks to Quick Action of School Bus Driver

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The quick thinking and reflexes of a school bus driver undoubtedly prevented what could have been an incredible tragedy in Rockingham County, NC.

The activity bus, carrying 42 members of the Western Rockingham Middle School track team, was traveling down NC 135 when the driver noticed a tractor trailer crossing the center line and coming directly at the bus. The bus driver, who is also the team’s coach, quickly swerved the bus out of the way. The truck side-swiped the bus, with mirrors on both vehicles slamming against each other, causing the glass to shatter and fly all over students inside the bus.

The bus driver stopped the bus, but the truck kept traveling and slammed into a tree, where it came to a stop. The 54-year-old truck driver, who was from Eden, died at the scene. Law enforcement say neither alcohol or speed contributed to the crash, and are investigating whether a medical condition caused the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle.

According to statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there was a decrease in the number fatal truck crashes 2014, even though the number of miles that tractor trailers traveled increased. Despite that announced decrease, there were still 3,903 people killed in large truck crashes. The number of miles trucks traveled on America’s roads in 2014 was 279 billion.

The FMCSA defines a large truck as one which has a gross weight of over 10,000 pounds.

The deadliest time of day is the daytime. This is when 63 percent of fatal truck crashes occurred. The three-hour time frame which has the most concentrated amount of crashes is between noon and 3 p.m., when more than 16 percent of the crashes happened. More than 80 percent of fatal crashes occurred on weekdays, with Monday and Wednesday being the deadliest days of the week.

The Rockingham County crash occurred on a Monday at approximately 3:30 p.m.

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal truck crash, contact a dedicated North Carolina wrongful death attorney. Our firm also offers a free truck accident guide to victims who have sustained injuries in tractor trailer accidents. The guide covers topics such as common federal trucking regulation violations, how commercial truck insurance differs from vehicle insurance policies, and common tactics used by truck companies to avoid liability of injury claims.

Randy E. Appleton
Elizabeth City & Outer Banks Personal Injury Lawyer
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