Ukiah School Bus Collision


Ukiah School Bus Collision

 I’m Ed Smith, a Ukiah personal injury attorney. On Monday, March 27, 2017, a school bus from the Ukiah Unified School District was in an accident at the intersection of Tomki Road and Fisher Lake Drive, not far from the Tomki Vineyards along the Russian River.

What Happened?

California Highway Patrol (CHP) released a report the day after the accident occurred that indicated that the driver of the school bus, who was a 36-year-old male resident of Ukiah, had been driving northbound on Tomki Road only a short distance north of Fisher Lake Drive and had brought the vehicle to a complete stop.  According to CHP, it was when the school bus was completely stopped that a 78-year-old man from Redwood Valley who had been driving a 2008 Honda Odyssey pulled up behind the bus and also brought his car to a complete stop.

After both vehicles had stopped in the northbound lane of the road, the driver of the school bus began to back the bus up into Fisher Lake Drive. Simultaneously, the driver of the Honda Odyssey began to attempt to maneuver his vehicle for the school bus by partially driving into the southbound lane of the road. CHP indicated that it was due to a confluence of these two maneuvers that the two vehicles collided. The left rear end of the school bus reportedly collided with the right front end of the Honda. After the collision, both vehicles stopped and temporarily blocked the northbound lane of Tomki Road.

Were there any Injuries in the Ukiah School Bus Collision?

Thankfully, none of the students that had been on the bus at the time of the accident reported any injuries. The drivers of both vehicles also appeared to be uninjured and reported no pain as a result of the accident. CHP still has the accident under investigation.

School Bus Accidents

Statistics released by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NTHSA) show that in the years between 2003 and 2012, 174 school-age children lost their lives in crashes related to school transportation. NHTSA’s data shows that, of those 174, 55 had been passengers on school transportation and 119 had been pedestrians. During the same period of time, 89 accidents related to school transportation occurred in which at least one passenger of a school transportation vehicle died. Additionally, nearly sixty percent of these incidents involved another vehicle.

Preventing Accidents

Recent recommended actions intended to decrease the frequency of accidents related to school transportation include random drug screening for drivers, more rigorous hiring processes including psychological evaluations and thorough background checks, improved training courses for new drivers, and yearly refresher training courses for standing employees.

Parents can also help to curb injury from school transportation-related crashes by reminding their children to wear seatbelts while traveling on school transportation and that misconduct on these vehicles can have terrible consequences.

Ukiah Bus Accident & Personal Injury Attorneys

I’m Ed Smith, a Ukiah personal injury attorney. If you, or someone close to you has been seriously injured or died in an accident, call me at (707) 564-1900 for free, friendly advice. Or, contact me toll-free at (800) 404-5400.

My office is limited to cases involving wrongful death and personal injury.

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Image Attribution for Ukiah School Bus Collision: Wikimedia Commons – Images in the public domain

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