About the School Bus Accident
According to VYFF, the incident occurred on Highway 276 in the Conestee Falls subdivision around 7:20 am.
Two of the children had to be airlifted to a hospital in Asheville and two others were transported via ambulance. Fortunately, none of the injuries were considered to be life-threatening.
Preliminary reports indicate the children were crossing the street to get on the bus when they were struck by 85-year-old Floyd Hipps – the man claimed he did not see the children.
Hipps has been charged with felony failure to stop for a school bus and failure to reduce speed.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
- According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4,743 pedestrians were killed in traffic collisions in 2012. Roughly one death every 2 hours.
- Another 76,000 people were injured in pedestrian accidents – an average of one injury every 7 minutes,
- More than 20 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 15 who were killed in traffic accidents were pedestrians.
- A pedestrian is 1.5 times more likely to be killed in a traffic accident than vehicle occupants on each outing.
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Details of the Fatal Pedestrian Accident
The accident happened when the driver drove into the crowd, who were taking the crosswalk after leaving St. James Catholic Church around 8 p.m. The driver then crashed head-on into another car.
12 people were treated by emergency workers and were then transported to hospitals. Some of the victim’s injuries were critical. 81-year-old Mary Anne Wilson and 87-year-old-Saeko Matsumura both died of their injuries as did a third pedestrian.
The driver of the vehicle was arrested on felony charges of driving under the influence and manslaughter. She is being treated for her injuries.
National Auto Accident Statistics
The following information was provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- 33,561 people were killed in auto accidents in 2012, marking a 3.3-percent increase from the 32,479 deaths recorded in 2011.
- Of those killed in auto accidents in 2012:
- Alcohol was determined to be a factor in 10,322 deaths in 2012.
- Another 2,362,000 injuries were recorded in 2012 – up from 2,217,000 in 2011
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According to Auto Maker News, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) continues to make legal preparation as Takata Corp. resists the U.S. regulator’s request for an expansion of the worldwide airbag inflator recall.
U.S. Regulators Move Forward with Takata Investigations
Takata Corp. has been under scrutiny by The National Highway Safety Administration and U.S. Department of Justice due to the supplier’s alleged delay in issuing a safety recall in regard to an airbag inflator defect that is projected to affect over 20 million vehicles worldwide.
NHTSA has been reviewing thousands of documents from Takata and the 12 automakers affected by the recall.
Tension between Takata Corp. and U.S. regulators has been rising as Takata resists the NHSTA’s request to expand the airbag recall outside geographically high-humidity areas. Although the initial cause of the airbag defect was suspected to involve high humidity, research reveals deaths that have occurred outside of these areas.
Takata claims the recalls at automaker’s responsibilities and maintains that the U.S. evidence is lacking.
About the Takata Recalls
- In April 2013, Takata Corp. announced a defect with airbag inflators may cause the airbags to deploy incorrectly and explode, sending metal shards throughout vehicles.
- Over 20 million vehicles have been recalled from 11 automakers around the world.
- Automakers affected include Honda, Toyota, Chrysler, Ford, Nissan, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Mazda and BMW.
- The recall has been linked to five deaths and numerous injuries in the United States. All five deaths were associated with Honda Motor Co. vehicles.
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