A bus carrying 34 members of the T.H. Harris Middle School track team crashed into the Metairie Canal on Tuesday, injuring three.
According to Nola, the accident happened as bus driver Samantha Massey, 38, attempted a U-turn on West Metairie Avenue. She then lost control and drove into the canal.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office cited Massey for the careless operation of a motor vehicle.
According to students involved in the crash, the driver was playing music before the accident. Authorities have not yet confirmed whether this contributed to the incident.
If your child was injured in the Metairie Canal bus crash, contact Morris Bart, LLC. A New Orleans accident attorney will help you claim compensation for medical bills and other damages.
Call 800-537-8185 today to schedule a free consultation.
Metairie Canal School Bus Accident Reignites Debate over Guardrails
Could longer guardrails have prevented the Metairie Canal bus accident? According to WWLTV, residents of Jefferson Parish have been requesting barriers next to drainage canals for years.
Although the measure would certainly improve driver safety, the project comes with a price tag of $100 million, according to a recent study.
Policymakers are divided on the debate. Parish Councilman Paul Johnson remarked that Tuesday’s bus accident is a testament to the importance of installing guardrails. Johnson further commented that the barriers should be placed in front of any canals that are near schools or playgrounds.
However, the parish public works director has stated there is not sufficient space to place guardrails in front of the canal next to T.H. Harris Middle School. One solution would be to install a box culvert to cover the canal, but that would be prohibitively expensive.
How Common Are Bus Crashes?
Motor-vehicle accidents are never more tragic than when they kill or injure children. Unfortunately, according to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, bus crashes are alarmingly common in the United States.
There were nearly 4,000 wrecks involving buses and large trucks in 2014 – and the problem appears to be worsening. The number of bus and large truck accidents between 2009 and 2013 was 20 percent higher than the number of crashes between 2004 and 2009.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 89 school transportation-related accidents happened between 2003 and 2012 in which at least one occupant of a school transportation vehicle died.
Despite the dangers, buses are still the safest way to transport kids to and from school, according to the NHTSA. Sadly, as demonstrated in the recent Metairie Canal accident, all it takes is one careless error from a bus driver to cause a crash.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
If your child was injured in the T.H. Middle School bus accident, contact Morris Bart, LLC. We will help you pursue compensation for health-care expenses and other damages. Call 800-537-8185 today to schedule a free initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer in New Orleans.