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Flooding, downed trees, flooded cars and trucks, impassable roads and unusable highway ramps, numerous traffic accidents and — regrettably, but thankfully not fatally — two school bus accidents marked the historic rain storm that struck northeast North Carolina (NC) and southeast Virginia (VA) on September 30, 2010.

Details on the bus crashes were scant the morning after the deluge, but the Virginian-Pilot reported that one crash involved a car slamming into a bus carrying students to Larrymore Elementary on Halprin Road. The second accident occurred when a bus for special needs students ran into a ditch along the shoulder of Denver Road. A Larrymore student suffered minor injuries; the severity of the accident involving the special needs students remained unclear when I wrote this.

The heavy rains appear to have led to both accidents, but they represent only the most recent near and actual tragedies involving school buses in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, the other cities of Hampton Roads and the United States as a whole. Last year, bad weather contributed to a bus carrying members of field hockey team for King’s Fork High School in Chesapeake running off the road in Isle of Wight and hurting several of the girls. In July 2010, another Chesapeake student activities bus flipped while merging on to I-664. A little less than a month before the start of the current school year, a the driver of a school bus carrying Salem High School students ran a red light and collided with a car at the intersection of London Bridge Road and Weybridge Road in Virginia Beach.

Traffic accidents cannot always be avoided, but school divisions, school bus drivers and the drivers of every car, truck and other vehicle on the road share a particular responsibility to protect students who rely on buses to transport them to school, home and sport and community activities. Every time that responsibility gets breached, students suffer.

EJL

About the Editors: The Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, whose attorneys work out of offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, Eastern Shore Virginia Injury Attorneys Blog and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.

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