A woman who was injured in a Maryland school bus accident in 2006 is suing the Cecil County Board of Education, school bus company owner Daniel W. Wagner, Sr., and school bus driver Thelma Ann Delp for personal injury. On March 6, 2006, Rachel Marie Couch, then 18, was driving a 1991 For Bronco on Maryland Route 272 when she was struck by a school bus driven by Delp.
Couch says she suffered mental trauma and sustained serious, extremely painful, and permanent injuries to her body, including head injuries, neck injuries, back injuries, and limb injuries because of the accident. She had to be flown by state police chopper to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.
There were no students on the bus, which was traveling to Rising Sun High School at the time of the auto crash. Maryland State Police say the bus had stopped at a red blinking light in one of the lanes on Route 272 when she made a left turn and broadsided Couch’s SUV. Couch says there are skid marks on the road that show she tried to avoid the bus. Delp says she didn’t see any cars on the road as she was making her turn.
Media reports indicate that the bus-SUV crash is not the first auto accident to occur at the intersection. Critics say one reason is that there has been some confusion surrounding a traffic light at Route 272 and Tiger Drive.
School Bus Accidents
School buses are common carriers whose drivers owe other motorists and pedestrians a greater duty of care to safety than other drivers. School bus passengers and others on the road can be prone to serious injuries during a traffic accident. Most large school buses do not come installed with seat belts, which makes its passengers more prone to serious injury. The size of large school buses make them a dangerous moving object in crashes with smaller vehicles, such as cars, SUV’s, and motorcycles, as well as pedestrians.
Woman here files $3M suit over crash, Lancaster Online, January 15, 2009
Related Web Resources:
School-Transportation Related Crashes, NHTSA (PDF)
You may be entitled to Maryland personal injury compensation from the negligent bus driver, bus company, or another liable party.