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University in Mourning as Bus Crash Kills Driver & Pregnant Coach

Thumbnail image for 1175023_magnolia.jpgA funeral mass will be held Sunday night at Seton Hill University after the school’s women’s lacrosse coach died over the weekend in a terrible bus crash on the Pennsylvania turnpike. Her unborn baby was also lost in this tragic crash. The driver of the bus was also killed.

There are many times in my practice as an Atlanta bus accident lawyer that I have counseled grieving families and friends. But it is so very difficult to imagine the sorrow of her family and friends, as she looked forward to the arrival of a child this summer.

Our hearts and our prayers go out to the coach’s surviving husband and child and the entire Seton Hill and surrounding community stunned by this event.

The bus that was transporting the women’s lacrosse team to an NCAA-II match at Millersville University in Pennsylvania was traveling on the Pennsylvania turnpike in the morning hours. The weather was a bit rainy and there might have been some light snow falling at that time. The coach and two other passengers were airlifted to a hospital nearby. But the coach passed away shortly after arriving at the facility and the driver passed away at the scene. Many other minor injuries were reported, but none appear to be life threatening.

The AP and USA Today report that this accident is one of three team crashes since the end of February alone. This bus careened off the turnpike and crashed into a tree. The crash is under investigation and is puzzling to authorities since it occurred on a flat stretch of the turnpike at a location which is not considered to be highly dangerous in any way. The front of the bus was severely damaged on impact.

One early theory is that the driver either fell asleep at the wheel or experienced a medical emergency while driving. The bus operator immediately sent a representative to the scene of the accident. The company has a good safety record.

Last week another bus that had a team on board in New York state, was hit by a car that had spun out of control on the road. One car passenger died and several players were injured. Recently, another bus that was transporting a University of Maine women’s basketball team left highway after the driver had a medical issue. The driver was hurt as were a player and coach.

The Center for Truck and Bus Safety has been working on various studies to determine what happens when drivers of large vehicles become impaired. In this case, we do not know whether the driver became ill and had a life-threatening medical event or became drowsy. There are systems being studied to waken drowsy drivers while they are on the road and eventually these systems might save lives.

There is no way to relieve the shock and grief that we all feel hearing about a crash such as this one. The only thing we can do is support the study of how these crashes might be avoided if humanly or scientifically possible.

If you have any questions about your legal rights after an accident, please feel free to contact me personally at my law offices. I am happy to speak with you or a member of your family to assist you assessing your situation.