A woman was severely injured and 18 children were taken to the hospital in a Sept. 17 accident on Vashon Island that may have occurred when one of the drivers involved experienced a medical emergency. The accident occurred shortly before 11:30 a.m. in the 24700 block of Vashon Highway SW.
The driver of a charter bus that was carrying a group of children on a field trip crossed over the centerline of the highway and into the path of a sedan. The two vehicles collided head-on, and the bus continued moving off the highway into some thick hedges, coming to a stop about 10 feet away from the roadside. The sedan was severely damaged because of the impact. Police and bystanders attempted to pull the car's driver from the vehicle, but they were unable to open the car door. Once she was extricated, a helicopter crew airlifted the woman to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. None of the children aboard the bus appeared to be hurt, but emergency crews took 18 of them to hospitals to rule out any injuries.
One witness said that the bus driver seemed disoriented after the crash. Police believe that he may have experienced a medical emergency that caused him to black out just before the accident occurred.
While it is not always possible to predict when a medical emergency will occur, drivers of commercial vehicles have a responsibility to manage any medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure that may result in a blackout while they are behind the wheel. Personal injury attorneys could help victims of accidents involving large vehicles recover damages for medical bills, lost wages, anticipated accident-related expenses and other damages.
Source: KOMO News, "1 seriously hurt as bus, car collide on Vashon Island", September 18, 2014