Officials have charged a 57-year-old school bus driver in Newark, NJ with 12 charges of endangering the welfare of a child, driving while impaired, and possession of drug paraphernalia after crashing the bus into a tree this last Wednesday [Source: CNN]. The woman, who has been identified as Lisa Byrd, allegedly overdosed on heroin and while under the influence of the drug, transported 12 special needs children from 14th Avenue School. Although officials haven’t confirmed Byrd was operating the vehicle while under the influence of heroin, they did recover drug paraphernalia from the vehicle after the collision.
The news source stated that when first responders arrived at the accident scene, they had to revive Byrd with Narcan, which is “a drug that instantly reverses the effects of overdose from heroin and other opioids.” Byrd had to be transported to an area hospital and all 12 children were said to have been uninjured in the bus accident. The news source stated that the children ranged from ages five to 13.
After the incident transpired, F&T Transportation, which is the company Byrd works for, was no longer permitted to transport children until an investigation could be conducted, according to Newark Public Schools. As for Byrd, she apparently had a suspended license between 1996 and 2016 but it wasn’t clear why it had been suspended, according to the Daily News. Sources did not confirm whether Byrd had hired a defense attorney to represent her in this case, however, you can be certain that the parents of the children who had been aboard the bus at the time of the incident were outraged by the bus driver’s negligence.
As a parent who entrusts a school and the bus company they employ to transport their children, you expect that the drivers hired to operate these school buses are qualified and responsible individuals. Unfortunately, not all are.
Was your child recently involved in a school bus accident that was caused by a careless or negligent driver?
If your child was involved in an accident in New Jersey while being transported on a school bus and they suffered physical and/or psychological injuries, you are advised to speak with a NJ bus accident attorney who can explain what your legal rights are and whether you are entitled to recover compensation for your injured child. When a negligent bus driver is responsible for causing an accident, a parent can file a lawsuit against the driver and/or the school district demanding that compensation be paid for things like medical bills as well as pain and suffering.
If you are a parent of an injured child, you are encouraged to contact USAttorneys.com to get connected with a skilled NJ school bus accident lawyer who can review with you what the lawsuit process looks like and determine how much your case might be worth.