An accident involving a tractor-trailer and a school bus on Aug. 29 claimed the life of a 15-year-old Valdosta, Georgia, girl. Additionally, 20 of the nearly 30 Lowndes High School students on board, as well as the bus driver, were injured. The crash occurred on Interstate 75 in Valdosta as the students were en route to their school.
According to an officer with the Georgia State Patrol, the truck was carrying a load of metal beams. The trailer portion of the truck carrying the beams struck the rear of the bus on the driver's side.
The girl who ultimately did not survive her injuries was taken via Life Flight to South Georgia Medical Center where she died. A dozen more of the students were injured seriously enough that they were taken to the same hospital via ambulance. Another seven students were driven there in other vehicles.
The conditions of the students, who ranged in age from 14 to 17, weren't reported. However, one girl was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of SGMC. All of the students were from either Valdosta or Lake Park, Georgia.
The 62-year-old driver of the bus suffered a broken leg. The driver of the tractor-trailer, a 58-year-old Illinois man, wasn't injured.
According to the Georgia State Police, they are still awaiting results of toxicology reports. However, authorities say that they have no reason to suspect that drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.
Tractor-trailers can be a potential danger to other motorists, not just because of their size and weight, but because of the large, heavy loads they often carry. Victims who are fortunate enough to survive tractor-trailer crashes often suffer serious, long-term injuries that require extensive medical care and rehabilitation.
Victims and surviving family members can, with the help of an experienced truck accident attorney, determine who is and should be held liable so that they can get the compensation they need and deserve. Defendants may include the driver, the owner of the truck, the truck manufacturer or other entities whose actions or negligence contributed to the crash.
Source: WTXL, "Victims of Fatal Valdosta School Bus Crash Identified," Sep. 02, 2016