The Albuquerque Police Department recently released harrowing footage of a car crashing into a school bus. The footage shows the shocking moments of an Albuquerque school bus crash in February 2022.
The Details of the Crash
A school bus carrying 23 middle-school students from the George I. Sanchez Community Collaborative School was struck by a Ford Mustang on February 23, 2022. The Mustang was driven by Mario Perez, who was allegedly racing another Mustang at the time of the crash. Eyewitnesses stated that the Mustangs were traveling in excess of 100 mph on the road with a posted speed limit of 40 mph.
The force of the impact from the Mustang threw the students from one side of the bus to the other. Some students exited the bus through the emergency door and window. Bystanders who witnessed the crash helped free some students who were stuck, too badly injured, or dazed to escape on their own. Seven students and the bus driver were transported to the hospital for injuries. One 14-year-old student suffered a pelvic fracture, while another 13-year-old sustained a broken femur. Both injuries required surgery.
Perez also sustained a broken femur and was transported to the University of New Mexico Hospital.
Current Status of the Case
After being released from the hospital, Perez was arrested and charged by officers with two counts of great bodily harm by vehicle. Prosecutors note that further charges related to other students injured in the crash may still be filed. Perez was released from jail pending trial. The driver of the other Mustang fled the scene of the accident and remains under investigation.
Statistics Around School Bus Safety
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), approximately half a million school buses provide daily transportation services nationwide for primary and secondary school students. About 23 million students take the bus to and from school each day.
In 2020, school bus accidents killed 54 people across the U.S., a decline of about 50 percent from the prior year primarily attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down schools for much of the year.
About 70 percent of school bus accident fatalities occur to occupants of vehicles other than the school bus. 16 percent of school bus accident fatalities occur to pedestrians, while school bus passengers and bus drivers each represent about 5 percent of school bus accident fatalities.
The NSC has stated that riding in a school bus is a safer transportation option for students than walking to school or riding in a car. However, the NSC argues that school buses can be made safer by adopting lap and shoulder safety belts on each school bus seat.
If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, contact an experienced Albuquerque school bus accident attorney for help right away. The team at Parnall Law offers a free, no-obligation consultation with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in Albuquerque who can discuss your legal options. When you choose us, you can expect us to put our knowledge, skills, and resources to work on your case. Hurt? Call Bert or fill out our online form.