Baldwin County, AL — March 13, 2018, Harry Caligone was killed and several others injured after an accident where a charter bus carrying high school students crashed into a ravine.
Alabama State Police and other emergency responders were called out to exit 57 of westbound I-10, east of Loxley and just west of the Alabama-Florida state line.
According to preliminary investigations, a First Class Tours charter bus was traveling westbound on I-10 in the early morning hours of Tuesday. On-board were roughly 45 passengers from Channelview High School in Houston who were on the way home from Disney World.
For reasons which remain unclear, the bus lost control and ran off the side of the road. As a result, it dropped into a ravine and crashed.
Due to the severity of the crash, the bus driver, Harry Caligone, died at the scene. At least 6 students on the bus sustained serious injuries, one critically so. They were airlifted from the scene. Reports indicate that at least a dozen others sustained various injuries as well.
At this time, further information is not available.
Map of the Area
Right now, there aren’t a lot of details in these reports regarding what caused the crash. It is important to note that it would seem as though no other vehicles were involved in this incident. As such, I imagine a lot of people will be quick to blame the bus driver. That’s sort of a rush to judgement, considering the lack of evidence put forth in the news.
Some may think, “Well if it isn’t the bus driver’s fault, then whose could it be?” To that I say that bus drivers only drive the buses they’re given. This may seem like an obvious statement, but there’s more to it than most realize.
The charter bus industry is an intensely competitive one with very slim profit margins. Not to suggest I know the financial situation of this particular company, but when times are tough, the first part of the budget bus companies tend to cut back is vehicle maintenance. As a result, every year we see a few bus accidents caused by tire blowouts, mechanical failures, or other maintenance-related issues.
So while many comments may rush to pillory the bus driver, that’s nothing but baseless speculation at this point. Down the road, there is time to mete out justice for the victims and families affected by the crash. In the meantime, the responsible thing to do would be to simply figure out what in the world went wrong here.
–Grossman Law Offices