PARAMUS, N.J. – A New Jersey school bus accident sent more than 40 people to area hospitals after the bus collided with a dump truck on Interstate 80 Thursday.
According to WNYC, a packed school bus taking kids on a field trip crashed on Interstate 80 in Mount Olive, New Jersey, killing a student and teacher, Jennifer Williamson of East Brook Middle School.
Jennifer Williamson’s husband, Kevin Kennedy released a statement to NJ Advance Media on Friday:
“My beautiful bride and I have been in total love every day of our lives since the day our eyes met on May 5th, 1994,” Kennedy said. “I am in shock, devastated and totally crushed by today’s tragedy to both sides of the Williamson-Kennedy families, the community she taught and the thousands of students and their families she was very proud to serve.”
Jennifer WIlliamson was 51 years-old. Paramus Mayor Rich LaBarbiera told reporters that Jennifer Williamson spent her entire career in the town, which is a tight-knit community mourning the loss of a beloved teacher and one student after the Paramus school bus crash.
“I heard a scraping sound and we toppled over the highway,” fifth-grader Theo Ancevski told WNYC. “A lot of people were screaming and hanging from their seatbelts.”
Police said there were 45 people on board at the time of the New Jersey school bus accident, 38 of whom were students. Some remain at area hospitals in critical condition.
Officials didn’t immediately release details of how the crash happened, but an extensive legal investigation should be conducted, according to a New Jersey school bus accident lawyer.
The trucking company that owns the dump truck has been involved in a string of crashes in recent years, according to federal safety data, including a number of violations that kept its trucks out of service for some time.
Many families will likely be filing personal injury claims, in which the outcomes of these cases could help their loved ones gain closure and compensation for their injuries. An experienced New Jersey truck accident lawyer should be investigating this crash, and could uncover several key pieces of evidence. Some of the items an extensive legal investigation should be looking at include:
- An analysis of the truck’s mechanical systems
- Truck maintenance records
- Driver records
- Potential safety violations
- The company’s safety record
In addition to examining the truck, it’s also important to take a look at the school bus, as mechanical issues and human error are not uncommon when these vehicles are on the highway.
A successful settlement or verdict could help dozens of New Jersey school bus accident victims cover the costs associated with such a tragic accident, including:
- Expenses from first responders
- Hospitalization costs
- Pain and suffering
- And more…
Many times, these claims can also sparking meaningful changes in public and private policies, improving safety for others across the state and country. These changes are often put in place so similar accidents, like the accident in New Jersey, can be prevented in the future.