A family from Greenwood, IN lost a mother, father and grandmother when a bus rammed into the van in which they were riding last month, says the Indy Star. The accident happened a little north of Bloomington on July 22. The family was traveling near the intersection of Business 37 and Bayles Rd. There is a lot of construction in the area, and as they slowed down for a warning sign, they were struck from behind by a greyhound bus. The van was destroyed, killing Shante Lewis, her husband Orlando, and her mother, Rose Pettus. Pettus was 54, while the others were both 30 at the time of the accident. A 2-year-old was also in the car, and went to the hospital with serious injuries.
In follow-up report by the star, it turns out that a simple case of spilled ice may have contributed to the accident. The bus driver, Brian Hodges, spilled some ice on the floor of the bus, and looked down to kick it out of the way. This distraction, along with the fact that he apparently didn’t see any of the construction warning signs, led to his bus slamming into the back of the van that held the Lewises. The collision with the van caused a chain-reaction that involved four other vehicles, although no one else was seriously hurt.
Most of the information in this report came from statements from the scene. The investigation into the crash continued after. Miller Transportation, the company that dispatched the passenger bus, has a satisfactory safety record, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. They had had five other crashes since 2015, but with only two other injuries reported.
The Lewises had three children. One with each other, which was the child in the vehicle with them, and once each from relationships prior to their marriages. A GoFundMe account was set up to help pay for hospital bills and funeral costs. The family is in the process of deciding how best to care for the children who have been left behind.
As evidenced by this incident, buses, like many large vehicles, can cause massive damage if they run into smaller vehicles like cars and passenger vans. While in this case it was no fault of the victims, it’s important to be safe around buses and trucks on the road. Give them space, and be patient with regards to slow turns and other movements that are more cumbersome for the big vehicles. While they aren’t going as fast, they also don’t stop as quickly, so do not cut one off.
If you are involved in a bus accident in Indianapolis, make sure to quickly get any injuries treated. After that, contact Rowe and Hamilton to help protect your interests. You may be falsely accused of being at fault, or you may need to file a claim for compensation. An attorney who specializes in bus accidents can help. The sooner you call for a consultation, the sooner an attorney can get to work for you.