With our children returning to school this month, we felt it appropriate to review the safety of the buses that carry them.
An update for you on a case that is ongoing for our firm: a young girl severely burned by antifreeze while riding her school bus to Porter Ridge Middle School in Union County. This occurred in May 2015. First we are happy to report that she is continuing to heal and recover but it is a long, hard journey – one she should not have to endure.
Since taking on this case, we’ve discovered a long list of similar incidents around the country involving school buses spraying their young riders with hot antifreeze. From the most recent according to media reports:
June 2016: Alpenhorn, California
Three students injured when a coolant line bursts
May 2015: Vacaville, California
An elementary special needs student is burned after being sprayed with hot
October 2015: Lake Arrowhead, California
About 20 middle school students injured with a radiator hose burst and spewed hot
February 2015: Durham, North Carolina
Four elementary students treated after a radiator hose bursts on their school bus
June 2014: Salt Lake City, Utah
Two students burned when hot antifreeze sprays into the school bus cabin
November 2013: Pendleton, Indiana
Several elementary students injured, one hospitalized with burns, after a radiator
hose bursts on their school bus
October 2013: Gresham, Oregon
Children burned after hot antifreeze leaks into the school bus cabin
September 2013: Edgewater, Maryland
Five elementary school children treated for burns from antifreeze on bus
May 2013: Greenville, North Carolina
Four middle school students suffer minor injuries after a radiator hose bursts
April 2013: Wilkes Co., North Carolina
Eight students burned when a hose bursts releasing hot water, hot antifreeze and
May 2012: Knightdale, North Carolina
More than a dozen middle school children burned on their feet after a hot liquid
covered the floor of their bus.
April 2010: Oak Grove, Florida
Four students and the school bus driver injured with a radiator hose fails
October 2008: Sanger Texas
Six middle school students injured with a hot water hose burst
The child injured in Union County in May 2015 was aboard a bus built by Thomas Built. While some of the incidents listed above were noted to involve Thomas Built buses, the manufacturer of all the buses involved has not been confirmed. But as early as September 2013, the state of North Carolina was aware of the failures of heater hose fittings resulting in children receiving burns on feet and legs due to the cracking of plastic fittings in the passenger compartment. Thomas Built only recently issued a recall for affected buses. And a school board member in Salt Lake City is calling for a national movement to address the issue.
We’ll keep you updated as events warrant. Please check back on this website. Also ‘like’ our Facebook page to receive updates on this issue and other topics that affect your life and safety.