On Wednesday, August 21st, a group of 36 sixth-grade girls experienced
a terrifying ordeal when their day-trip school bus overturned and rolled
over at least two times about 18 miles outside of Kansas City, Missouri.
Statements from the passengers and a police investigation revealed that
the bus overturned as a result of excessive speed on a curving highway ramp.
18 girls were taken to nearby hospitals and treated for moderate and serious
injuries. A few of the girls suffered concussions, and one is suspected
of having suffered a more serious
brain injury. Another student may have a serious
spinal cord injury. Five students were expected to be released from the nearby University
of Kansas Hospital, but an additional three to four were kept overnight.
The bus was going too fast as it negotiated the exit ramp connecting Kansas
state routes 7 and 32 in Bonner Springs. Highway Patrol officials confirmed
that the bus then rolled over multiple times around 1:00pm. A witness
heard horrible screams and crying as girls began crawling out of bus windows
and emergency exits.
The bus was transporting the girls to a camp near Linwood, KS, for an overnight
“bonding” experience to kick off the school year.
Bus rollover accidents can be particularly dangerous to occupants. State
laws typically do not require the use of seat belts in most school buses
or commercial tour buses. While some tragic accidents may be truly unavoidable,
CDL bus operators hold a fiduciary duty to passengers to operate the vehicle
in a safe and responsible manner and to obey local traffic laws. The bus’
driver and operating carrier is likely to face civil suits from the parents
of the girls injured in the accident.