17 Students Injured in School Bus Accident on I-84 in East Hartford, CT
East Hartford, CT — December 12, 2022, 17 people aboard a school bus were injured when it crashed on Interstate 84 in East Hartford.
Authorities say the incident happened around 1:20 p.m. along westbound I-84 near the Route 15 exit ramp. Preliminary investigation suggests the bus was headed west when the driver may have lost control in a curve. The bus crashed into a concrete barrier on the right shoulder then rebounded through the travel lanes and hit the left barrier. It came to rest on the left shoulder.
17 passengers on the bus, all 17 or 18 years old, were transported to area hospitals with injuries not believed to be serious. The bus driver, 35-year-old Tonya Felton, was unhurt. She was cited by police for failure to drive in the proper lane.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on School Bus Accident on I-84 in East Hartford
Reports about this accident mentioned the school bus that crashed was owned and operated by We Transport LLC, a northeast-based transportation company that deals primarily in school transportation. As police faulted the bus driver for the crash that sent several teens to area hospitals, some may feel the company should try to make amends for the damage their employee caused.
Reasonable as that may sound, it's important to know that few claims made against commercial entities go that smoothly. Because of how much companies stand to lose if they're found liable, they tend to fight any suggestion of it tooth and nail. Even citations or assertions of fault from police can and will disputed if needed as the company seeks to free itself from any suggestion of blame. Whether it's blaming road conditions, rowdy students distracting their driver, or any number of other scapegoats, the goal is almost always to escape any responsibility for the damage done--and that goal is easily realized if victims and families aren't prepared.
Some may think that's melodramatic for a crash where the reported injuries weren't serious. I surely hope that's true, but I've also seen many instances where so-called "minor" injuries simply took a little time to show their true nature. Many folks have found themselves unprepared when things took a turn for the worse, which is why I try to encourage taking the necessary steps even when the damage doesn't seem dire. At worst that means being overprepared and not needing it, which is always better than the opposite.