Teenager Killed After Getting Off School Bus

(RightWing.org) – A Texas teenager has died in a horrific accident. The victim, a student, was getting off a school bus when a semi-truck coming up from behind hit another vehicle before mowing down the 15-year-old. The question is, how did it happen? Are drivers getting more careless around school buses and their vulnerable cargo?

Bus Stop Tragedy

On December 7, a school bus from the Livingston Independent School District stopped on Route 59, just north of Livingston, Texas, to let off a passenger. The bus had deployed its red warning flashers and stop sign as it halted, and the student exited the vehicle onto a driveway. Everything should have been perfectly safe, just another drop-off in the well-practiced routine of a school bus run. This time it all went horribly wrong.

Moments after the student stepped down from the bus, an 18-wheeler semi-trailer rig traveling in the same direction failed to slow down and hit a Toyota that was behind the bus. The truck then swerved into the driveway and hit the teen, who died at the scene. The Toyota was rammed into the bus in the collision, suffering bumper damage, but the 28-year-old woman driving it and 41-year-old trucker Gregory Jackson were both unharmed. Jackson has now been charged with criminally negligent homicide over the accident and released on a quarter-million-dollar bond.

Are Students in Danger?

The question people will be asking is a simple one — “How did this happen?” School buses are a familiar sight on American roads, and all drivers should be aware of how to act around them. The bus involved in the accident had its warning aids deployed and should have been impossible to miss. The charge against Jackson suggests police think he wasn’t paying attention, but even so a school bus is very obvious, especially from the high cab of a tractor unit.

A more frightening possibility is that, instead of just one careless driver, people are getting careless when they should be at their most alert. Sadly school bus accidents happen fairly often — with almost half a million of the big yellow vehicles in North America that’s inevitable — but since the 1940s, most states have had laws requiring drivers to stop around school buses that are letting passengers on and off. Jackson didn’t, and the dead teen paid the price.

School buses are a safe way to travel — statistically riding in one is 70 times safer than traveling in a car — but the Texas accident is worrying. Jackson isn’t the average motorist; he’s a professional driver. If he can’t stay safe around a school bus, it makes you wonder how the rest of us are doing.

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