Field Trip Ends in Two Fatalities After Dump Truck and School Bus Collision

A horrific collision involving a school bus and a dump truck occurred the morning of May 17, 2018, killing a teacher and student in New Jersey after the school bus overturned with 45 passengers on board.

The bus engine was smashed, the frame was bent, and the front hood was torn. It is a possibility that a person may have been ejected from the school bus after the impact, and the bus actually flipped over because it slammed into a guardrail. The bumper of the dump truck even looked to be torn off. The local community was traumatized.

This catastrophic halt took place while the bus was heading to a fifth-grade field trip. A district bus driver was transporting some classes and staff members of East Brook Middle School to Waterloo Village, a canal town that has been restored to model a 19th-century village.

A student on board reported that he believes an object may have pushed another car into the bus, as he heard a scratching noise before the bus collapsed onto its side. Once people became aware that it was an emergency situation, they began escaping through the roof hatch escape.

The accident took place on westbound I-80, and numerous surviving adults and students were severely hurt and taken to the emergency room, including the driver of the dump truck.

The school bus had seat belts installed in every seat, and passengers hung from these seat belts after the rollover according to a student who was riding the bus during the accident. The incident is currently under investigation and the victims have not been identified. The back of the dump truck that was involved in the accident had the words “In God we trust” on display, according to a photo of the crime scene.

School buses are built to be more sturdy and secure than the average car in regards to avoiding crashes. However, it is clear that disasters still take place.

On average, 134 fatalities occur every year in school bus accidents, and countless more injuries. “The incident in New Jersey raises important questions about the necessity of three-point safety belts in school buses, as the bus in the collision only had two-point seatbelts,” remarked Jim Parrish, attorney, and founder of Parrish Law firm.

School buses implement a safety concept known as compartmentalization, through the tall seats that absorb impact and are situated closely together. Children cannot move much and their movements are somewhat muffled, similar to an egg container. Tests reveal that compartmentalization is not beneficial in a rollover.

Previously, the National Transportation Safety Board suggested three-point seatbelts for all school buses, but the suggestion was not enforced. The only point of resistance to the three-point belts is the price; each bus would run roughly $7-10,000. Buses built earlier than 2011 cannot incorporate three-point harness seatbelts at all. Despite the steep cost, the devices can save lives and a child’s life is invaluable.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.