Police in Oregon are investigating a school bus accident in which Austin Takacs, 11, died while trying to catch the bus in Oregon City. The sixth grader was running next to the school bus, which had left the bus stop, when he tripped on his bag and fell into the road. Takacs, who was struck by the bus’s rear tires, was pronounced dead less than one hour later at St. Charles Mercy Hospital.
Austin’s mother, Nancy, students on the bus, and a few neighbors witnessed the catastrophic accident. The school bus driver, 67-year-old Rita Grivanos, told Oregon police that she did not see Takacs.
A police report, however, indicates that a number of the students on the bus called out to Grivanos that the boy was running next to the vehicle, but she may not have heard them. The bus was moving at approximately 5mph when it struck Takacs.
No citations have been filed against Grivanos, who collapsed after the tragic accident and was treated at St. Charles hospital. A 2006 evaluation rated the 67-year-old driver as “outstanding” and she has regularly received high performance marks for doing her job.
Grivanos is expected to be back at work shortly. Oregon City Schools Superintendent Mike Zalar says the school district did not play a role in causing the crash.
School Bus Accidents
About 17,000 children are treated in US emergency rooms each year for injuries they sustained in bus crashes. Common causes of school bus accidents include driver negligence, inadequate safety measures, defective bus and bus parts, dangerous roads, poor weather conditions, and poorly maintained buses.
Injuries that can be sustained in school bus accidents include broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal injuries, and death. School kids can also get hurt while riding a bus even if a traffic collision does not occur. Cuts and bruises can occur to kids roughhousing on the bus—especially when there is a lack of supervision—or from slip and fall accidents when getting on or off the bus.
If your son or daughter was injured in an Oregon school bus accident while riding the bus, getting on or off the bus, crossing the street as a pedestrian, or riding as a passenger in another vehicle, it is important that you explore your legal options as soon as possible.
Grief weighs heavily on boy’s family in fatal Oregon bus accident, Toledo Blade, October 23, 2008
Boy, 11, killed trying to catch bus in Oregon, Toledo Blade, October 16, 2008
Related Web Resources:
School bus injuries much higher than thought, MSNBC.com/AP, November 6, 2006
New Federal Rule to Make School Buses Safer, DOT.gov, October 15, 2008
At Matthew D. Kaplan, Attorney At Law, our Oregon bus accident lawyers represent adults and children that have been seriously injured in motor vehicle collisions. Contact our Portland personal injury law firm today. We represent clients throughout the state.