A semi collided with a school bus unloading children on Highway 50 in Kenosha County on Friday afternoon, May 23, 2008, sending at least 14 children and two adults to hospitals, with four of the children suffering serious injuries, and the truck driver listed in critical condition. The 14 children on the bus were from Wheatland Center School.
It seems that the semi never braked before the accident, and Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth was quoted as saying that the semi driver may have been distracted by drinking a can of soda as the semi approached a mild rise in the highway grade at the accident location.
Until the investigation is concluded, it is unclear whether the driver’s drinking from his beverage can caused his distraction, but there had to have been something distracting him if the semi never braked. People do a lot of stupid stuff people do while driving. I handled a case a couple years ago where a driver was using a spoon to eat a bowl of cereal with milk and pulled out from a stop sign into the path of a motorcycllist, who sustained serious injuries. Cell phone use continues to distract drivers. iPods with earphones are another problem, depriving drivers of one the senses that keep them aware of their surroundings. School bus accidents draw attention to these issues. I expect that this one will prompt a serious look at truck driver education and policies and procedures to forbid truck drivers from engaging in distracting activities.