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Driver in Fatal Chattanooga Bus Crash Charged with Statutory Rape

The school bus driver involved in a fatal 2016 crash that left six children dead in Chattanooga has been booked on a felony charge of aggravated statutory rape.

Suspect Was Out on Bond Prior to Statutory Rape Arrest

According to the Tennessean, Johnthony K. Walker, 25, was booked into Davidson County Jail at 9:45 pm Thursday on a felony charge of aggravated statutory rape of a 14-year-old. He is being held at the Hill Detention Center, a maximum security facility, on a $350,000 bond.

Walker was previously found guilty on six counts of criminally negligent homicide, 11 counts of reckless aggravated assault, and seven counts of assault for a fatal school bus crash that killed six children in November 2016. He was also found guilty of reckless endangerment, reckless driving, and distracted driving.

While Walker had been sentenced to 4 years in prison, he was free on bond pending an appeal prior to his latest arrest in Nashville.

Walker will appear in court on Monday.

Bus Accident Statistics

The following information was provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation:

  • There were 4,311 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2015, which was an 8 percent increase from the previous year.
  • From 2005 to 2015, intercity buses accounted for 13 percent, and school buses and transit buses accounted for 41 percent and 33 percent, respectively, of all buses involved in crashes that were fatal.
  • Between 2014 and 2015, the number of buses involved in crashes that caused fatalities increased from 236 to 261, which is an increase of 11 percent.

Contact an Experienced Bus Accident Attorney

If you or your child have been injured in a bus accident, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our team of experienced bus accident attorneys are available to evaluate your claim 24/7, nights and weekends. Thomas J. Henry has the financial resources and the track record of winning that you need in a law firm. Contact us today for a free case review. Our firm has offices in Corpus ChristiSan Antonio, Austin, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide.

Uber Disabled Emergency Braking in Fatal Self-Driving Car Crash

An investigation has revealed that Uber had disabled an emergency braking system in a self-driving vehicle that was involved in a fatal pedestrian accident in Arizona in March.

Vehicle Identified a Need to Apply Breaks Prior to Accident

According to Reuters, the self-driving 2017 Volvo XC90’s radar system observed the pedestrian at least six seconds prior to the fatal impact, but the vehicle’s software identified the woman as an unknown object, a vehicle, and finally a bicycle with varying expectations of future travel path.

However, at 1.3 seconds before the crash, the self-driving system determined emergency braking was needed to avoid impact; but, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, the automatic emergency braking system needed for the vehicle to complete necessary evasive maneuvers had been disabled by Uber to “reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behavior.”

Uber suspended the testing of self-driving vehicles in Tempe following the fatal accident, and on Wednesday the company announced plans to discontinue testing in Arizona permanently. Uber still plans on limited testing in Pittsburgh and at least two cities in California.

The victim, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, was walking her bicycle outside of the cross walk on a four-lane road when she was struck. The vehicle was traveling at 39 miles per hour when impact occurred. The operator of the vehicle says she was monitoring the vehicle’s self-driving systems when the crash occurred.

The accident remains under investigation.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for Accidents Involving Uber Drivers?

Rideshare companies have gone great lengths in order to distance themselves from legal responsibility. Uber, for example, does not consider their drivers employees and instead lists them as independent contractors.

When confronted with litigation, parent companies like Uber and Lyft will attempt to claim they only facilitate fares and are not responsible for their driver’s actions. It is then up to the plaintiff’s attorneys to prove the company’s liability.

What Do I Do if I am Involved in an Uber or Lyft Accident?

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving an Uber, Lyft, or other vehicle used in a ridesharing service, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our attorneys have the legal knowledge and resources to handle your claim aggressively and effectively. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends. Our firm has offices in Corpus ChristiSan Antonio, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide. Call us today for a free case review.

18-Wheeler Rear-Ends Georgia School Bus, 8 Students Injured

Eight students were injured Monday after a DeKalb County school bus was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer.

Details of the Georgia School Bus Accident

According to reports, the wreck happened around 4:50 pm Monday in the southbound lanes of I-285 near Glenwood Road.

School officials say the bus was transporting 19 students from Cedar Grove Middle School and Champion Theme School when it was allegedly rear-ended by a tractor-trailer. A DeKalb County Schools spokesperson said the bus was at a stop when the crash occurred and implied that the 18-wheeler was traveling too fast to avoid the bus.

The conditions of the injured students were not immediately available, but head, back, and neck injuries were reported.

The crash remains under investigation.

School Transportation Accident Statistics

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 1,344 people killed in school-transportation-related crashes recorded between 2004 and 2013. This averages to 134 fatalities per year.
  • Of the 1,344 fatalities, only 8 percent were occupants of school transportation vehicles.
  • Most (71%) of the people who lost their lives in these crashes were occupants of other vehicles involved in the crashes.
  • Nonoccupants, including pedestrians, bicyclists, etc., accounted for 21 percent of the fatalities.
  • Among the 106 occupants killed in school transportation vehicles between 2004 and 2013, 45 were drivers and 61 were passengers.

Contact an Experienced School Bus Accident Attorney

At Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys, we have the experience and resources to handle your child’s case. If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, contact our offices. Our experienced bus accident lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends, and can provide you with a free case review.

Two Injured After Dayton School Bus Crashes into SUV

Two children were injured in Ohio Monday morning after a Dayton school bus ran a red light and collided with an SUV.

Details of the Dayton School Bus Crash

According to WHIO-TV, the accident occurred around 8:40 am at the intersection of West Sixth Street and Ludlow Street.

Preliminary reports suggest the school bus was traveling south on Ludlow Street when it ran a red light before striking the SUV. There were about dozen children on the bus when the crash occurred.

The accident remains under investigation and it is unclear why the school bus failed to stop at the red light.

School Transportation Accident Statistics

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 1,344 people killed in school-transportation-related crashes recorded between 2004 and 2013. This averages to 134 fatalities per year.
  • Of the 1,344 fatalities, only 8 percent were occupants of school transportation vehicles.
  • Most (71%) of the people who lost their lives in these crashes were occupants of other vehicles involved in the crashes.
  • Nonoccupants, including pedestrians, bicyclists, etc., accounted for 21 percent of the fatalities.
  • Among the 106 occupants killed in school transportation vehicles between 2004 and 2013, 45 were drivers and 61 were passengers.

Contact an Experienced School Bus Accident Attorney

At Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys, we have the experience and resources to handle your child’s case. If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, contact our offices. Our experienced bus accident lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends, and can provide you with a free case review.

 

17 Students Injured in Kentucky School Bus Crash

At least 17 students and two adults were injured Tuesday in a crash involving a Kentucky school bus.

Details of the Kentucky School Bus Crash

According to WKYT, the crash occurred around 8:30 am at the intersection of Blue Lick Road and White Oak Park in Louisville, Kentucky.

41 students were aboard the bus at the time of the accident. They were being transported to Fairdale Elementary and Coral Ridge Elementary. While early reports suggested no injuries, updated information from officials said 18 students and two adults were transported to the hospital with minor to moderate injuries.

The cause of the school bus crash remains under investigation.

School Transportation Accident Statistics

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 1,344 people killed in school-transportation-related crashes recorded between 2004 and 2013. This averages to 134 fatalities per year.
  • Of the 1,344 fatalities, only 8 percent were occupants of school transportation vehicles.
  • Most (71%) of the people who lost their lives in these crashes were occupants of other vehicles involved in the crashes.
  • Nonoccupants, including pedestrians, bicyclists, etc., accounted for 21 percent of the fatalities.
  • Among the 106 occupants killed in school transportation vehicles between 2004 and 2013, 45 were drivers and 61 were passengers.

Contact an Experienced School Bus Accident Attorney

At Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys, we have the experience and resources to handle your child’s case. If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, contact our offices. Our experienced bus accident lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends, and can provide you with a free case review.

 

 

13 Injured in I-81 Bus Crash, Driver Allegedly Under the Influence

13 people were injured following a bus accident on Interstate 81 in Pulaski County, Virginia Friday morning. The driver has been arrested.

Details of the Pulaski County Bus Crash

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the crash occurred around 8: 15 am when the bus drifted into a tractor-trailer before leaving the roadway. The bus hit an embankment and overturned.

13 passengers suffered what were described as non-life-threatening injuries.

The bus driver, 59-year-old Willie F. Walker of Carrollton, Georgia, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs and possession of marijuana.

Fatigue is also being looked at as a factor in the crash.

Bus Accident Statistics

The following information was provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation:

  • There were 4,311 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2015, which was an 8 percent increase from the previous year.
  • From 2005 to 2015, intercity buses accounted for 13 percent, and school buses and transit buses accounted for 41 percent and 33 percent, respectively, for all buses involved in crashes that were fatal.
  • Between 2014 and 2015, the number of buses involved in crashes that caused fatalities increased from 236 to 261, which is an increase of 11 percent.

Contact an Experienced Bus Accident Attorney

If you or your child have been injured in a bus accident, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our team of experienced bus accident attorneys are available to evaluate your claim 24/7, nights and weekends. Thomas J. Henry has the financial resources and the track record of winning that you need in a law firm. Contact us today for a free case review. Our firm has offices in Corpus ChristiSan Antonio, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide.

More than 20 Injured in Lexington County School Bus Crash

More than 20 people were injured when a car slammed into a school bus carrying middle school students in Lexington County Tuesday morning.

Details of the Lexington County Bus Crash

According to the State, the crash occurred around 7:30 am along the 400 block of Blackville Road, near Fallaw Road. There was heavy fog in the area at the time of the accident.

18 students and a driver were aboard the bus when the crash happened. All were transported to the hospital to be examined. All three occupants of the SUV were transported with injuries as well.

At least one person suffered serious injuries, but the injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Preliminary reports suggest the SUV ran a stop sign and hit the side of the school bus; however, the accident remains under investigation.

School Transportation Accident Statistics

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 1,344 people killed in school-transportation-related crashes recorded between 2004 and 2013. This averages to 134 fatalities per year.
  • Of the 1,344 fatalities, only 8 percent were occupants of school transportation vehicles.
  • Most (71%) of the people who lost their lives in these crashes were occupants of other vehicles involved in the crashes.
  • Nonoccupants, including pedestrians, bicyclists, etc., accounted for 21 percent of the fatalities.
  • Among the 106 occupants killed in school transportation vehicles between 2004 and 2013, 45 were drivers and 61 were passengers.

Contact an Experienced School Bus Accident Attorney

At Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys, we have the experience and resources to handle your child’s case. If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, contact our offices. Our experienced bus accident lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends, and can provide you with a free case review.

 

 

21 People injured in Chain-Reaction Accident Involving Greyhound Bus

At least 21 people were injured in a chain reaction accident on an icy Kentucky highway Tuesday morning. The crash involved multiple tractor-trailers and one Greyhound bus.

Details of the Kentucky Greyhound Bus Accident

According to WKRN, the crash occurred on Interstate 65 in Bonnieville at around 8:40 am. The passenger bus, four trucks, and several passenger cars were involved in the chain-reaction crash.

Police say the crash began when a 2007 Volvo tractor-trailer collided with a safety patrol truck from the Kentucky Transportation cabinet which was parked in the emergency lane with its lights flashing. The tractor-trailer then struck a parked service truck, forcing the service truck into a Greyhound bus.

A second commercial truck struck the Volvo tractor-trailer.

21 people were transported to the hospital, including at least one child.

Bus Accident Statistics

The following information was provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation:

  • The number of crashes resulting in injuries involving large trucks or buses increased by 62 percent from 60,000 in 2009 to 97,000 in 2015.
  • From 2005 to 2015, intercity buses accounted for 13 percent, and school buses and transit buses accounted for 41 percent and 33 percent, respectively, for all buses involved in crashes that were fatal.
  • Between 2014 and 2015, the number of buses involved in crashes that caused fatalities increased from 236 to 261, which is an increase of 11 percent.

 

Americans Among 12 Killed in Mexico Tour Bus Crash

CNN reports eight Americans were among the 12 people killed in a tour bus crash that occurred in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday. An additional 10 people were injured.

Details of the Mexico Tour Bus Crash

The bus was traveling from the coastal village of Mahahual to the Mayan archeological site Chacchoben when it crashed. The bus was left on its side in a wooded are off the roadway.

31 people were on the bus when the accident occurred, including tourists from the U.S., Canada, Italy, Brazil, and Sweden. 27 of the bus passengers were cruise guests from two Royal Caribbean ships.

Of the 13 passengers injured, two were from Sweden, three were from Canada, four were from Brazil, and four were from the United States. The two Swedish victims were transferred to the U.S. At least one child was killed in the crash though the child’s nationality was not immediately available.

While it is unclear what led the crash, reports indicate that the bus driver has been arrested.

Bus Accident Statistics

The following information was provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation:

  • There were 4,311 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2015, which was an 8 percent increase from the previous year.
  • From 2005 to 2015, intercity buses accounted for 13 percent, and school buses and transit buses accounted for 41 percent and 33 percent, respectively, for all buses involved in crashes that were fatal.
  • Between 2014 and 2015, the number of buses involved in crashes that caused fatalities increased from 236 to 261, which is an increase of 11 percent.

School Bus Involved in Fatal Iowa Fire was Previously Part of a Recall

Federal investigators looking into a school bus fire that left an elderly man and a teenager dead in Iowa last week noted that the bus model involved was previously the subject of a major recall. The investigators are now trying to determine if the bus should have undergone repairs as part of that recall.

About the Fatal Iowa School Bus Fire

According the Des Moines Register, the incident occurred around 7 am Tuesday in rural Pottawattamie County. As the bus was backing out of a student’s driveway, the bus somehow ended up in a ditch and caught fire.

Emergency responders arrived roughly 15 minutes later, but were unable to get inside the bus. By the time the fire was extinguished, 16-year-old Megan Klindt and 74-year-old Donald Hendricks were dead. There were no other occupants aboard the bus when the fire occurred.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), as part of their investigation, will analyze possible causes of the fire as well as examine maintenance records of the bus, medical records of the driver, and flammability of the bus.

The NTSB will also check if the bus should have undergone electrical system repairs as part of a recall of certain 2005 models of International brand school buses.

School Bus Fire Statistics

Overall, school bus fires are very rare.

From 2004 through 2013, fewer than two people died per year as a result of a school bus catching fire, with only 12 deaths reported over the 10-year-period.

A study by the National Fire Protection Association determined that bus and school bus fires killed an average of three people per year from 1999 to 2003, accounting for just 1 percent of vehicle fire deaths.

About 160 people were injured in school bus fires from 2004 through 2013.

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