School Trip turned Deadly in Bastrop County

Early Friday afternoon, on March 22, 2024, a multi-vehicle rollover accident between a school bus, concrete truck, and a Dodge Charger tragically and prematurely ended the life of two people. The lethal accident occurred when a school bus rolled over on Highway 21 at the intersection of Caldwell Road near Mustang Ridge in Bastrop County near Austin, Texas. More than 50 people, including students and adults, were on the school bus. Per sources, at least 6 people have been taken to the hospital for further evaluation. The Hays ISD School Bus, carrying prekindergarten students from Tom Green Elementary School, was headed back from a filed trop to the Bastrop Zoo, but unfortunately was unable to make it to its destination.

Per sources, Travis County STARflight helicopters arrived shortly after the lethal crash and transported four injured persons involved in the lethal rollover accident to receive medical treatment. Further, ATCMS transported two other patients to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center for further evaluation and medical treatment. The fatalities included a prekindergarten student that was on the Hays ISD School Bus, and  the driver of the Dodge Charger.

As the parents and family members of the ones that lost their lives mourn the death of their loved ones, one question remains: who is responsible for the premature death of the two innocent victims that lost their lives, and the injuries sustained to those involved in the lethal rollover accident? Accidents are traumatic events that unfortunately can happen to anyone, at any time, at any place. Though accidents can be devastating, and can burden us both physically and emotionally, it is important to be well-equipped so that you can properly navigate your way through this unfortunate set of circumstances that have occurred.

Although accidents involving school buses are not something that we hear about every day, they tend to happen more often than one would expect. According to the National Safety Counsil (NSC), and data retrieved from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), school bus accounted for the death of 108 people nationwide, just in the year 2021. Shocking data from NSC has illustrated that from 2012 – 2021 between 54 and 131 lives were lost each year in school-bus related accidents. Therefore, it is imperative to have the proper tools stored in your tool box just in case it might come handy on a rainy day.

Accidents involving commercial or school buses are more complex and require a different approach than regular car accident cases. For starters, folks driving ever day regular cars are required by law to carry a minimum policies. On the other hand, school Buses are not insured with the regular insurance policies that everyday people have while driving on Texas public roads and highways. Furthermore, school bus drivers are usually employees of a school district. What does this mean? It means that the appropriate legal avenue forces you to combat the school district rather than the school bus driver. Additionally, one might face other legal issues, such as facing a cap on the damages that you might be entitled to. Schools and their districts can be considered governmental agencies. As a result, the law has placed a cap on damages that a private citizen is able to obtain.

The Rollover School Bus that occurred today is both unique and unfortunate. Although the School Buses district can be held liable for the negligent act of its school bus driver that lead to the loss of innocent lives today in Bastrop County, the concrete truck can also be found liable, or contributorily liable for this lethal and tragic accident. However, concrete trucks, like the one involved in the accident today in Bastrop County, are typically insured with commercial policies. Therefore, rather than a statutory cap dictating the amount of compensation you can receive, you and your attorney will be able to combat the concrete truck driver and its carrier to ensure you justly get the compensation that you and your loved ones deserve and are entitled to.

Battling the negligence of school buses are often times tricky and require a heightened level of care to combat the complex legal difficulties that will inevitably arise. Therefore, it is imperative that you hire an attorney with all of the proper tools in their tool box to help get the compensation that you deserve. No amount of money will ever bring back the memories and companionship of loved ones whose lives were prematurely erupted. Nobody’s lives should be erupted prematurely. The unfortunate and tragic even that occurred today in Bastrop County today should not have happened. Those little lives should have made it home to their parents, rather than being the victims of a tragic School Bus Rollover accident. Life is risky and our safety is not guaranteed when we leave our homes, however, we can build a stronger community by holding those responsible accountable for their actions, so that  we can have a safer community.


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