Three dead, 15 injured in Ohio crash involving bus carrying band students

by Benjamin Treviño | November 15th, 2023 | Bus Accidents

LICKING COUNTY, OHIO – Police say three people were killed, and at least others were injured in a fiery crash involving a bus carrying band students in Ohio. The deadly incident took place on Interstate 70, about 26 miles east of Columbus near the State Route 310 interchange in Licking County.

According to authorities, a semi-truck is believed to have rear-ended the bus at around 8:50 a.m.

It is unclear if any of the deceased victims are students, and the cause of the collision was not immediately known. There were 57 people traveling on the bus, an official said, and a total of five vehicles were involved in the collision.

The bus was carrying students and chaperons from Tuscarawas Valley High School, located in northeast Ohio. They were headed to an Ohio School Boards Association conference in Columbus, according to a Facebook post written by Derek Varansky of the Tuscarawas Valley School District.

“I have devastating and heartbreaking news to report,” Varansky wrote before adding that there were multiple serious injuries. The injured were being treated at seven area hospitals.

“Right now, our focus is on getting in touch with our Tusky Valley families who had loved ones on the bus and providing support to our entire school community. Our Trojan family is strong, and it will take that strength and love to get [through] these coming challenging days.”

The American Red Cross of Central and Southern Ohio said it fulfilled a request for more blood from one hospital in the area, sending 30 units to a hospital in the Mount Carmel Health System, Marita Salkowski, regional communications director said.

A center was set up at a United Methodist Church in Etna for bus passengers not in need of medical attention to go to and contact loved ones, she added.

Numerous emergency responders were at the scene, and Ohio Department of Transportation cameras from the area showed smoke coming from the crash site.

The highway was closed in both directions and numerous traffic delays were reported as of this writing.  Police said the location will remain closed and will be an “active scene” while investigators analyze the area.


What are the limits of liability waivers for field trips?

When public school and university students go on a field trip, they (or the parents of minor children) are usually asked to sign one of two common types of waivers:

General consent waiver – This is a blanket waiver in which the parties waive their right to take legal action against in case of harm. In signing the form, the student or parent acknowledges the risks, and swears that the party is participating voluntarily. Courts in many states frown upon this type of liability waiver, as they believe schools are asking people to forfeit important rights, while the schools avoid liability for preventable accidents and injuries.

Informed consent waiver – This type of liability waiver also attempts to limit a school’s liability, however, informed consent waivers cannot shield the school from liability for injuries to the traveling party that occur because of negligence of the staff.

It is important to know that liability waivers only go so far in protecting school districts. If one can prove that a school employee, supervisor, bus driver, etc. caused or contributed to the party’s injuries on a field trip, there may still be grounds for a claim.

When is school negligence a factor in field trip injuries?

Schools have a duty to their students, and that includes a duty to warn and inform. The school may have been negligent if it failed to provide a safe facility, proper safety equipment, proper instructions and supervision, or proper medical care after an accident occurred. The school has a duty to notify parents or guardians if a minor is injured on a field trip, or in school. When failure to notify the parents results in furtherance of the injuries, the school can be held liable.

To establish that the school was negligent, you must show:

  • The school owed a duty of care to the injured student
  • The school breached that duty of care
  • The breach of duty caused the student’s accident
  • The accident resulted in harm

Can a third party be liable for field trip injuries?

In some cases, third parties can be held liable. For example, for unsafe conditions on the premises or road where an accident took place. If a third party was negligent and that negligence caused injuries, there may have a claim for compensation against the third party.

Contact the J. Gonzalez Law Firm

The personal injury attorneys at J. Gonzalez Law Firm are specialists in injury and wrongful death lawsuits. We are known for our commitment to our clients, and for fighting for the compensation they deserve. Contact us today at 1-800-CAR CRASH.




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