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One Child Dead, Several Critical After St. Lucie School Bus Crashes Into Semitrailer

Filled with students after a long school day at Frances J, Sweet Elementary School, bus driver Albert Hazen was driving thirty students down Okeechobee Road when he attempted to take a left. The school bus turned in front of a Peterbilt semitrailer carrying sod that was heading the opposite direction and the truck crashed into the side of the school bus. The accident left nine-year old Aaron Beauchamp dead and sent eleven children to the hospital, five of which were placed in critical condition. Florida Highway Patrol Lieutenant Jeff Johnson said, “In this situation, with that large of a vehicle striking the bus from the side, the bus held up pretty good, but unfortunately, the human body is not made to take that kind of a hit.” While the school bus was equipped with seatbelts, the students are not required to wear them, and the school bus operator is not liable if children refuse to wear them.

The investigation of the crash is ongoing and the police have yet to determine the fault of the crash. The police are looking into whether the semitrailer was functioning properly and whether it was overloaded. Because the bus was only half-full, the police have already concluded that it was not overloaded. The police have ruled out weather as a factor in the crash and are looking “at mechanics or the human aspect of it” in an attempt to determine liability for the crash. The police stated that most bus accidents are the result of a rear end collision and children only typically suffer minor injuries.

The school district is also investigating the incident. In the meantime, the school is providing grief counseling to students affected by the crash. Social workers and psychologists are working together to determine the best way to help the young children.

5 kids in St. Lucie school bus crash ‘critical’ in hospital; some released, March 27, 2012.

Motor vehicle accidents involving a single truck or bus can be traumatic, but an accident involving both can be catastrophic. Bus accidents and truck accidents cause more serious injuries than typical car accidents. Bus passengers get tossed into walls and fall into aisles because of the lack of seatbelts. Semi trucks and trailers cause substantial damage to other vehicles because of their tremendous size. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with either a truck or a bus, call the attorneys at the Friedland | Carmona today! The motor vehicle accident attorneys at the Friedland | Carmona are dedicated to helping accident victims recover the compensation they deserve! Call the Miami personal injury attorneys at (305) 661-2008 for your free consultation.

The Miami-based truck accident attorneys at the Friedland | Carmona handle all types of motor vehicle accidents throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Homestead, North Miami, South Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, Hialeah, Kendall, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. The Friedland | Carmona handles all types of personal injury cases, including wrongful death, defective products, medical malpractice, slip and falls and construction site injuries. Call today and let our family take care of your family!

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