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WTMJ4 reports that 22 Bradford High School students were injured in a bus crash in Kenosha on Wednesday, September 5, 2007. According to the article, the bus crashed into a car driven by another Bradford High School student who reportedly pulled in front of the bus cutting it off on 39th Avenue, south of Bradford High School. Another news report from WSAW indicates that the car subsequently crashed into a tree and tipped on its side and the roots of the tree may have kept the bus from doing more damage to the car and may have saved the life of its occupant, who was rushed to Children’s Hospital by flight for life helicopter. He was reportedly in stable condition and gave a thumbs up to the crowd of onlookers after being cut out of his car. Fortunately, most of the students only sustained minor injuries and were able to return to school this week. From the photos, it does not appear that the bus in question was a standard school bus with the yellow and black markings we are used to seeing, however, the articles report it was being used to transport students. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, which keeps bus accident statistics:

In school bus crashes over the last couple of decades, fewer than 10% of school bus occupants have had any injury and 90% were not injured at all. The occupant most frequently injured is the bus driver since that seating position does not have the same passive occupant protections that passenger seats have, such as flexible and padded seat backs. The persons most likely to be injured in a school bus crash are drivers and passengers of vehicles that strike the bus or are struck by the bus. Sixty percent of school bus fatalities involve non-bus occupants. Small vehicles do not do well in a crash with a big yellow bus or any other big vehicle, and should be driven accordingly. The majority of school bus crashes are cited as the fault of the other vehicle’s driver.

While fortunately there were no deaths or life-threatening injuries in the Kenosha crash, the injury ratio was substantially higher than the norm in the DOT statistics. The news articles indicate the bus in question was carrying 45 passengers, about 50% of whom were injured.

For more information on this subject matter please refer to the section on Airline, Cruise, Bus, and Other Mass Transit Accidents.

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