3 siblings killed by car while boarding school bus

Story here. It’s impossible to even imagine what the family is going through. A fourth child (unrelated) was badly injured and has already had to undergo several surgeries. A fourth sibling survived because she was staying home for a doctor’s appointment.

Rural road, curves, speed limit 45-55. By all indications, the school bus had its lights flashing and its sign out. It looks like the driver of the pickup must have come around a curve at speed, unwary and unprepared to stop, right when the children were crossing the road. She is the children’s director at a church, and she has been charged with reckless homicide.

It appears that the 9-year-old girl may have seen what was coming, so she stepped in front of her little brothers to try to shield them.

I guess this hits me especially hard because my own son just started riding the school bus. Fortunately, he does not have to cross a road. Drive safely, everyone.

Makes me glad for Chicago’s arrow straight streets and lousy traffic.

The article mentions curves in the road. Based on the cited approximate address, and the pictures (especially #7 of 14) at your link, I think this is the StreetView of the site of the crash, looking in the direction the bus was traveling (northeast). Take a look at the area in StreetView, and then do some measurements on the map itself: in my estimation, there is a clear line of sight and no meaningful curvature of the road for a good 0.2 miles (10-12 seconds, assuming 60 MPH) for any vehicle approaching the bus from the northeast. Assuming the pickup truck driver was not having a seizure of some kind, it’s difficult for me to think of anything that suggests she is not guilty of criminal negligence.

So horrible.

When I’m out driving and see heavy speeders, people rapidly changing lanes, aggressive driving, etc., I just shake my damn head. Accidents like this can happen so damn easily and destroy people’s lives. I want to scream at them for putting random strangers lives at risk for no reason.

The sad part is that in my younger years, I was an aggressive driver. A busy freeway? I was speeding and weaving in and out of traffic lanes, passing frequently using too little clearance around me, etc. Get on a rural winding country road and I was treating it like my personal race track. In all cases, just being a total idiot with no regard for the consequences.

Now as I approach 50, I want to punch my younger self… or more accurately, punch those I see now who are driving like I used to. But you know… I wouldn’t have listened then and others probably won’t listen now. I am just thankful that my actions did not result in tragedy for myself and/or someone else family.

I’m not sure it’s advisable to have children crossing roads against 55 mph traffic. It’s very difficult to judge the closure rate of a vehicle traveling that fast. More so at night. I say this from personal experience. I was once almost flattened trying to remove debris from a highway.
Yes the driver should have seen the flashing lights and will be held to account for it. But there is no plan B in the event a vehicle doesn’t stop.

I’m devastated for the parents and I feel bad for the driver.

Sadly some jackass was racing in my neighborhood during Halloween. In the rain. Didn’t hit anybody but I hope Karma was watching.

On the news last night it was reported that the people in charge of planning bus stops had previous been advised to move the bus stop to the slower streets of the neighborhood the children were coming from.

It was also reported that, in response to this horrible tragedy, they had finally made the decision to do so.

:smack:

This was my thought. Yes the driver is responsible, but there’s no way the bus stop should be there if there is any close side road. If they are stopping right in front of the kids’ house to pick them up. Then stop on the other side so they are not crossing the street.

I’m in a very urban area. I encounter a dozen school buses on my way to work every morning during the school year. At least half of them stop on a major street, and almost all of them then immediately turn off onto a side street. That seems to imply that the stops are on the major street for a reason, which I’m guessing is to intentionally stop traffic on the busy road. Frustrating for drivers, but safer for the kids, theoretically at least.

There certainly does seem to be ample line of sight there. From the amount of harm done, though, it seems like the driver must have barely slowed, if at all. I can’t explain it.

They may be pulling kids from both sides of the big road. On this Indiana road, though, it looks like the only dwellings were all on one side (the opposite side) of the major road.

*"The speed limit on this stretch of two-lane highway is 55 mph, slowing to 45 mph on curves.

There are curves just north and just south of the crash site.

Monika Manuszak lives on Ind. 25 south of where the children were struck. She said said crashes happen too often. Vehicles have crashed into her yard, she said. Two of her dogs have been struck, she said.

“Something has to change," Manuszak said. "There’s no reason kids should have to die because the speed limit is so high.”*

This just doesn’t sound like a great location for a bus stop, period.

The more I think about it the more it doesn’t make sense. Crossing a 55 mph road at night is ridiculously dangerous. I can easily see the bus’s lights causing enough glare to wash out the blinking lights. All it would take is a slight hill, a curve in the road, or improperly adjusted lights. It would be really easy for the bus driver to drive with brights on and forget to turn them off.

I’m in no way defending the truck driver. But accidents are often a series of events that add up to tragedy.

Do you suppose it might at some point cross this woman’s mind to not let her dogs wander near the road? Jesus Christ.

I was so sorry to see this story, it is awful to imagine the pain of that family. I wonder if the driver was doing something on her phone. It is shocking that so many people don’t get how dangerous this is, considering how devastating the results can be. Maybe that wasn’t a factor, but I woouldn’t be surprised if it is.

If the car driver was driving distracted I hope she is prosecuted to the limit of the law.

The pickup driver has said that she did not see the kids or the bus lights until it was too late. A driver behind her, however, said that the bus was easily visible.

The bus driver waved the kids across, thinking the oncoming driver was far enough away. He says he honked when he realized that she was not slowing, but it was too late. Imagine having to live with that.

Also, the pickup driver had three of her own children in the truck when the accident happened. Hopefully they were too young to understand what was happening.

There seem to have been a cluster of school-bus stop car accidents over the last couple of days, including someone who injured five people at a stop in Florida today. I wonder if it’s because it’s dark in the early morning at this time of year. Maybe the time change will help.

People are stupid. We had a lady on our cul-de-sac who let her three little yappers (Pomeranians? that size anyway) run outside while she was inside. It was bad enough on our quiet street where people learned to look out for them, but they also ran out onto the through street (which was at the apex of a hill, so blind traffic both ways). One of them predictably got squashed. Equally predictably, the owner was devastated but still let the remaining two run around with minimal supervision. She has since moved, so I don’t know the fate of the remaining pups.

There is an unverified post going around on Facebook claiming to be a relative of the young woman driver. Acc to this post, the 24-year old had just received news that her father had had a heart attack, and that she had picked up her younger sister to get to the hospital. She had her own 2 children in the truck as well. It’s also reported that she thought that it was a tractor, which is a common site on Indiana roads, and that she was going to go around it.

In any event, tragedy for everyone involved, esp that poor family who lost 3 children in one day. Unimaginable.

And it does anger me that the officials were repeatedly asked to move that bus stop to a side street from concerned parents.

The front end of the truck looked like it hit another vehicle. The damage is substantial and suggests very little braking.

Yeah, that crumpling does tell of going close to full speed at time of impact. The reports seem to quote the the driver *behind *the crashed vehicle as saying he could tell that was a school bus being boarded ahead. School buses in my experience tend to have very characteristic appearance and signals, what the else would be large and yellow and have flashing red and amber lights

However **Magiver **did make an important point that facing headlights head on it’s not always easy to estimate how fast the other vehicle is closing in. So this now puts on the bus drivers the additional task of waiting until they confirm that all traffic *has *positively stopped before giving the go-ahead for crossing (we can’t equip school buses with a force field/tractor beam array; some day in the future automated cars will have a channel that detects school buses and stops until the bus broadcasts the all clear but we’ll still have to deal with meatbag drivers for some time).

Moving the bus stops off the main road is a good mitigation method. If that can’t be avoided, let’s conspicuously… nay, make that *garishly *mark/signal and powerfully illuminate the bus stops for an eight of a mile in both directions. (Then again drivers repeatedly crash at hazards that they’ve been warned about repeatedly for the last half mile in big bold letters, so there’s only so much you can expect…)

The driver stayed on the scene as long as police needed her presence but was arrested at her place of employment, which indicates she was not on her way to the hospital. She said she saw the flashing lights but didn’t recognize that it was a school bus. One terribly wrong decision and three young lives snuffed out, a family in torment, a fourth child critically injured, and a driver who’ll surely never recover from killing children. Horrible, horrible, horrible.