The iconic big yellow school buses are a common sight on Minnesota streets in the morning. School buses have a number of safety features, including a stop arm, to protect both students and other vehicles. When the stop arm is deployed, vehicles need to stop and obey it, just as they would obey any other stop sign. However, some drivers fail to do so, and the result can be catastrophic.
Three 15-year-old high school students from Otsego were waiting to board their school bus when the 22-year-old driver of a pickup truck did not stop per the school bus warning arm and struck the students. The bus was stopped at the time of the incident and the students were walking to the bus when they were hit. All three victims were sent to the hospital via ambulance. Two of the three victims were left in critical condition following the crash. The third victim is in serious condition.
The driver of the pickup truck had been convicted for speed violations three times in the past over a period of eight months. He was placed under arrest and will be facing gross misdemeanor charges of school bus stop arm violation, as well as felony charges of criminal vehicular operation.
Criminal sanctions aside, the fact remains that three young people were severely injured. They will incur medical expenses, not to mention the pain and suffering they have endured. When a person is seriously injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, that person may want to determine whether they are able to seek compensation for the damages they suffered.
Source: StarTribune, “Pickup hits 3 Rogers High students at bus stop,” Paul Walsh, Jan. 20, 2017