According to the Asheville Citizen Times, eight campers and two instructors were recently involved in a dangerous auto accident when their summer camp van plunged over the side of a mountain in the Pisgah National Forest. The instructors and campers were in a 16-passenger van, which went over an embankment and got stuck against a large tree approximately 30-feet down along the steep slope.
Our Asheville accident lawyers know that traffic accidents in camp vans are just one of the many risks faced by kids at summer camps throughout the Carolinas over the summer. While camp can be a great experience, kids who spend their days doing activities outdoors and under the care of counselors can be in great danger of suffering serious injuries if the camp doesn’t take proper precautions.
This is why it is so important for parents to research summer camps they are considering for their kids so they can make informed choices about whether the camp will do a good job caring for their children.
Summer Camp Car Accident Emergency
The recent Asheville camp accident took place at a camp serving children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder. The accident happened on a gravel forest road at around 10:30 a.m. when the 21-year-old driver of the vehicle got too close to the edge of the embankment. The driver met a car and was trying to pass it on the right side when the shoulder of the road gave way.
The accident was described as being caused by the narrow road and by the shoulder giving way. The Asheville Citizen Times reported that no charges were being filed and the crash was described as not the fault of the driver. The accident was also described as not having caused serious injuries, although not all injuries are symptomatic immediately after accidents occur.
The kids who were on the van could potentially have faced much more serious harm or even death if the van had not been stopped by the tree as it careened down the embankment. A highway patrol trooper discussing the accident indicated that hitting the tree showed the “hand of God” by preventing more serious harm to the kids.
Protecting Kids at Summer Camps
Unfortunately, this accident shows that injuries at summer camp are a very real possibility. Not only is there a chance of accidents happening, especially if kids are being transported in large vans by young and inexperienced drivers, but there are also other risks as well including the dangers of burn injuries from bonfires; drowning accidents; heat-stroke injuries; sports accidents; and hiking injuries.
To make sure that kids have the very best chance of staying safe as they enjoy their camp experience, it is a good idea to do some research to determine if a camp is a safe one for your child.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, for example, recommends that you look both at the activities that the camp will be offering as well as taking a look at camp policies on issues such as heat stroke and other health and safety issues. The American Academy of Pediatrics indicates that camps should have written health policies in place; should require that campers have had a recent physical; and should have a policy mandating that all campers have had their required vaccinations.
It is also advisable to check whether the camp you are considering has been accredited by the American Camp Association.
If your child was hurt at camp, contact Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation with our North and South Carolina attorneys. Call 1-800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
Carolina Charter Bus Accident Involves 28 Students, Kills Driver, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, June 18, 2013.