Recently in School Accidents Category

November 4, 2014

Lyons v. Richmond Cmty. Sch. Corp. - Disabled Student Choking Deaths at School

No parent sends their child to school in the morning thinking that will be the last good-bye.
Although parents of disabled and autistic children will encounter more difficulties throughout their day, they should never have to fear this is a possibility. When it comes to children with disabilities, school districts are expected to have health and safety plans firmly in place, with protocols clearly communicated and strictly followed.

The worst part is that when this doesn't happen, these children are poorly situated to speak out about and let their parents know when a lapse has occurred. That's why often, parents don't know there is a problem until too late.

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January 18, 2012

Driver Suspended After School Bus Accident in Easley, 10 Students Injured

A recent school bus accident in Easley injured 10 children and one adult bus rider, according to WYFF4. After the accident, the Pickens County school bus driver was ticketed and put on administrative leave.
The accident happened just before 7:30 a.m. the intersection of Highway 135 and West A Avenue in South Carolina when the school bus slammed into an SUV. According to officers, the school bus pulled out in front of the SUV. Ten students were taken to area hospitals - three to Baptist Hospital and seven to Greenville Memorial. Of those, four were in high school, five were in elementary school and one was in middle school. There was one supervising bus rider who was also taken to the hospital.

Our South Carolina school bus accident attorneys understand that parents expect to send their child to school in a safe environment. This safe environment should extend to the school bus ride. Safe school bus drivers are a necessity in protecting our young learners. Unfortunately, a driver's disregard for traffic laws left 10 students hospitalized. The driver was cited for failing to yield the right-of-way and was put on administrative leave, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association's Traffic Safety Digest, the South Carolina Department of Education and the Office of Transportation is responsible for testing, training and licensing all of its public school bus drivers. It is important that these drivers are being thoroughly trained, educated and tested with the safe driving habits necessary for school buses in order to keep our children safe on their way to and from school.

Every day, there are more than 22 million children in the U.S. who ride the big, yellow bus to and from school and school-related activities. In addition to school events, millions of young passengers ride these types of buses to youth, athletic, church an camp events.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are nearly 9 million school bus trips taken every year. With nearly 450,000 school buses on roadways throughout the country traveling roughly 4 billion miles every year, accidents are bound to happen. According to recent statistics, more than 140 people die every year because of school bus-related traffic accidents.

Our South Carolina school bus accident attorneys would like to stress the importance of safe traveling school buses, especially for drivers who hold the lives of our young ones in their hands. Talk with your child about the dangers of riding a school bus. Be sure to remind them to be a quiet and courteous passenger to help the bus driver to focus on the roadway. Keep the child's play at home and enjoy a safer ride to school every day.

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October 24, 2011

Winston-Salem School Bus Accident Injures 14 in Two-Bus Collision with a Passenger Vehicle

A recent bus accident in Winston-Salem ended in 14 people being injured after a car hit two buses carrying high school band students.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the accident was allegedly caused by 1998 Honda Accord, which reportedly crossed the centerline before hitting the first bus head-on. Upon impact the bus swerved and ran into a tree. The vehicle spun out of control and hit a second bus before landing on an embankment along the side of the road. 655548_school_bus_red_light.jpg

Six people were treated and released right at the scene while 8 others had to be transported to area hospitals. According to police officials, no injuries were life-threatening.

Gastonia child injury lawyers know that school buses are one of the safest modes of transportation. But this accident could have easily been fatal considering the chain of events that occurred. Thankfully, the injuries were minor. Motorists who become distracted or violate laws geared towards school bus safety are at serious risk of injuring or killing a child.

North Carolina State Highway Patrol was recently focused on nabbing motorists ignoring stop arms or other traffic violations in school zones in an effort to reduce school bus collisions.

NC Crime Control & Public Safety announced Operation Stop Arm during the week of October 17 - 21 to get motorists to follow the rules or else be hit with a hefty citation.

North Carolina law prohibits passing a stopped school bus for any reason. Passing a stopped school bus is a Class 1 demeanor, and if convicted, can result in five points added to a violators' driver's license and up to a $200 penalty. If a driver hits someone while passing a stopped school bus it is considered a Class I Felony and if the person dies it is considered a Class H Felony.

The Nicholas Adkins Safety Act provides help to law enforcement officials by allowing school buses to capture on film when a motorists neglects the law, which can be used as evidence later to prosecute stop arm violators in a trial.

Some school buses have recently had cameras installed on the outside to help capture video footage of the violation. The bill was named after a 17 year-old student who was killed in a school bus accident in 2009 when a motorist neglected to wait for an idle school bus to begin moving again.

The School Bus Safety Center provides frequently asked questions and safety tips to parents and children about how to avoid potential injury in a school bus-related accident.

Motorists who aren't familiar with the North Carolina School Bus Stop Arm Law should become educated by visiting online. Knowing and obeying the law can reduce the risk of child injuries and prevent severe consequences faced if you pass a stopped school bus in North Carolina.

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September 12, 2011

Window Falls Common Among Toddlers Which Can Lead to Severe Head Injuries for Children in Asheville, Elsewhere

Children can be seriously or fatally injured by fall accidents in Asheville, Statesville or elsewhere, especially when they occur out of a window from the second floor of a building. The results of a recent study published by MSN indicate that it's a sensitive issue and one that shouldn't be taken lightly. More than 5,100 injured children show up in hospital emergency rooms following a fall out of a window.

Hickory injury attorneys know that accidents can happen but falls from out of a window should be preventable. Though many of these types of accidents occur at home, it is important that parents know their children are safe under the watchful eye of a daycare center or child caregiver and that the necessary safety precautions are taken to avoid a child fall injury.
The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System was used in an analysis of child fall injuries taking place throughout the United States. From 1990 to 2008, more than 98,000 children under age 18 were given medical attention for injuries after falling out of windows. This equates to a rate of 7.3 injuries per 100,000 children.

In the first study of its kind, researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that 1 in 4 children sustained injuries severe enough to be admitted into the hospital from fall accidents out of a window.

"We continue to see this problem, especially in younger kids, despite the fact that we know how to prevent it," said Dr. Gary Smith, a lead researcher of the study.

Toddlers have a high center of gravity and are typically the age most at risk of falling out of a window because when they lean out the window for curiosity sake, they tend to topple over. Toddlers are accountable for roughly 66 percent of all window fall accidents.

When a child falls out of a window, especially from a second floor level, they typically fall head first. Almost 50 percent of children who land on their head suffer severe face and head injuries.

Safe Kids USA reports these general fall accident statistics:

  • On average, 103 children die each year from fall accidents.

  • For children 14 and under, falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries.

  • The 10 and under age group account for 4,000 injuries and 12 deaths related to window falls each year.

  • 23 percent of fall injuries for ages 5 to 14 years occur at school.

  • The most common locations for window falls are in large urban areas and areas with overcrowded housing.

  • Children residing in apartment buildings are 5 times more likely to suffer a window fall than a child living in a residence.

Parents are advised to keep their children safe at home by investing in window guards for every reachable window in your house. You should never leave a window open more than 5 inches when small children are present. Remove any furniture or cribs near a window that are easy to climb on and close enough to crawl out of a window.

Parents should also never assume that a window screen is strong enough to prevent a child from going through. In most incidents, this is not the case.

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August 26, 2011

Heat Illness a Concern for Student-Athletes in August, Especially Among Football Players in North Carolina

Student-athletes returning to school for football or other fall sports practices should take warning that heat illness is a concern that should not be taken lightly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heat illness is the leading cause of death and disability for athletes in high school while practicing or competing in an event. When body temperature reaches 105 degrees, a person can become at risk of permanent organ damage.

Personal injury attorneys in Charlotte know that athletes can't always detect when they are on the brink of danger so it is the responsibility of the coach to keep a close eye on them and not push them too far. Winning isn't everything, especially when it can cost an athlete their life or cause a disabling injury that can last a lifetime.
In a recent study, CDC found there were 118 reported incidents in 100 sample schools from 2005-2009, which required lost time from practice as a result of an athlete suffering from a heat-related illness. Results of the study indicated football players were most at risk of missing time from practice and reported a rate of ten times more than the average rate of the other 8 sports studied. August was the worst reported month for time-lost heat illness in over 66 percent of cases.

Heat-related illness in Asheville, Statesville and elsewhere in North Carolina is a concern because it has been a brutal summer with heightened temperatures resulting in several tragedies already being reported in the United States.

Max Preps reports there have been four players and a coach die in a 7-day span, all believed to be heat-related pending the autopsy results. Three of the five deaths have already ruled heat exposure as a contributing factor, and if it turns out they are all related to heat-illness, it would be the most deaths in high school football since 2006.

From 1995 through 2009, the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research from the University of North Carolina reported a total of 30 fatalities as a result of football players not recovering from a heat-related illness. On average, it was two deaths per year with the only exceptions being in 2002 and 2003 when no deaths were reported.
Eastside Medical Center offers the following tips to athletes, parents, trainers and coaches:

-Look for symptoms like dizziness, nausea, headache, weakness, or confusion.

-Staying hydrated is the best defense. The more an athlete sweats, the more they need to drink to keep the nutrients replenished.

-On average, an athlete needs to drink 2 to 4 16-ounce glasses per hour to make up for the 1-2 liters of hydration lost through perspiration.

-Weigh an athlete before and after practice to determine how much water is needed to replenish fluids.

-For meals eaten before practice or competition, put two shakes of a salt shaker on your food to replace sodium chloride lost through sweating.

-Coaches should ease athletes into lengthy practices or over-strenuous activity for the first two weeks.

-Plan practices early in the day or late at night to get athletes out of extreme conditions and lengthened heat exposure.

-Always have medical staff or a trainer on hand. Athletes should report to the coaches and trainer any heat illness-related symptoms they are feeling.

For more information about summer heat emergency data or athlete tips to prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke, visit North Carolina Division of Public Health.

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May 18, 2011

Neglect and abuse common causes for child injuries at North Carolina daycare centers

Dropping an infant or toddler off at daycare can be as unsettling for the parent as it is for the child. Our personal injury lawyers in Asheville, Statesville, and Charlotte know the stress a parent goes through in choosing a safe and trustworthy daycare facility for their child to stay at during work hours because not everyone has the luxury of being a stay-at-home parent. Parents have a right to feel their child is in a safe environment when placing them at a daycare center. Parents who suspect foul play or neglect should contact an experienced child injury lawyer in North Carolina or South Carolina to plan the appropriate course of action against the daycare center.

The Barnwell Police Department is in the midst of an investigation after the mysterious death of a 3-month old boy at a home daycare reports The Augusta Chronicle. An autopsy was performed but more testing is needed to determine the cause of death.

A separate incident occurring on the same day involved a 3-year-old girl who was fatally injured in the gymnasium at Gaffney church daycare in South Carolina. The young toddler was trying to retrieve a ball when she experienced a section of the wooden stage collapse on her. Blunt force head trauma was the cause of death; she was pronounced dead at Spartanburg Regional Hospital.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission conducted the most recent study on daycare facilities, attempting to measure safety hazards in childcare environments. There were 8 potential safety hazards investigated at 220 licensed childcare settings across the U.S. The hazards included: recalled child products, drawstrings in clothing, blind cords in windows, safety gates made for children, playground surfacing, maintenance of the surfacing on playgrounds, soft bedding and cribs. The CPSC staff found that two-thirds of the investigated environments had at least one safety hazard present. In 1997, there were approximately 31,000 trips to the emergency room for injuries obtained at child care or school settings for children 4 years-old or younger. At the time of the study, there had been a minimum of 56 child fatalities reported in child care environments since 1990.

Child and daycare facilities have an obligation to obey federal regulations in order to keep valid licensing. Childcare providers should be licensed in CPR and First Aid in order to give proper care to your child. Failure to provide a safe environment is cause for legal action if your child is injured so contact a legal professional if your child is a victim of abuse or neglect at a daycare facility.

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October 27, 2010

Jamestown school bus accident a reminder of the risk to North Carolina children

A Jamestown, North Carolina school bus accident last week is a reminder to parents and children of the risk associated with riding a bus and the obligation of bus drivers and school districts to keep children safe during transport.

As we reported earlier this year on our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, school buses are a relatively safe form of transportation -- with an average of just 19 fatalities occurring each year in the United States.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that half of those are pedestrian accidents or accidents as students are loading or unloading.

However, thousands of others are injured each year in busing accidents, and car accidents in Charlotte, Raleigh or elsewhere in North Carolina can quickly be fatal when a school bus or large truck is involved.

In this case, the Jamestown News reports that the Guilford County school bus was carrying 49 middle school students when a tow truck ran a red light at the intersection of Vickrey Chapel and Guilford College roads.

The front of the bus was severely damaged and the bus driver and seven students were injured. The 45-year-old Dallas, North Carolina tow truck driver was charged with running a red light.

"School bus accidents are so unpredictable and, unfortunately, some type of accident is going to occur," Jeff Harris, the school's transportation director, told the Jamestown News. "We just have to pray for the best."

He said the school system in Guilford County uses 624 school buses that carry more than 40,000 students a day.

Meanwhile, the North Carolina General Assembly continues to dither about whether to require school buses to have seat belts. A federal rule announced earlier this year will begin to require seat belts in large commercial buses. However, school buses were excluded, in part because of cost considerations.

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October 14, 2010

Annual Walk to School campaign aims to make streets safer for North Carolina pedestrians

Students from 27 districts across North Carolina are participating again this year in the month-long International Walk to School campaign that includes more than 3,200 schools across the country and 40 countries across the globe. This education and awareness effort began on Oct. 6, when students from around the world joined together to walk to school for the 14th year in a row.

Our North Carolina pedestrian accident attorneys support the goals of the campaign which include a traffic safety component and promote environmentalism and healthy choices children can make through physical activity.
The Wilmington Star News reported that Burgaw County Commissioners recently accepted $65,000 from the North Carolina DOT's Safe Route to School program to improve and complete downtown sidewalks trafficked by Burgaw Elementary and Middle School students.

From 2005 to 2009, North Carolina has received more than $15.5 million in funding to promote, implement and sustain various Safe Route to School projects statewide. In September 2009 alone, the NC-DOT released more than $3.6 million to 22 districts seeking funding for new sidewalks, school-zone signage, bike racks, pedestrian-crossing signals, wheelchair ramps and crosswalk markings.

The NC-DOT reminds both parents and students that walking to school can be made safer just by following a few simple rules:

~ Before entering any roadway, stop and look in all directions - including behind you - before stepping onto the street. Obey all traffic signals and signs and use crosswalks when available.

~ Wait until there is no traffic to step onto a roadway and keep looking for traffic until you have safely crossed to your destination. WALK, don't RUN, when crossing any street.

~ Whenever you can, make sure drivers can see you by making eye contact and being visible - wear bright colors, reflective gear and use a flashlight.

~ Map your route to avoid high-traffic/high-speed areas and limit the number of times you have to cross streets. When you can, chose a route that has a sidewalk or path, if possible, one that separates you from vehicle traffic.

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