Athens — Train-School Bus Collision Kills Student, Injures Another
Posted on Sunday, January 27th, 2019 at 9:29 pm
On Friday, January 25, 2019, one student was killed and two other individuals were injured after a school bus was hit by a train in Athens.
According to reports, the crash occurred around 4 in the afternoon, near the Cream Level Crossing. The bus was supposedly heading southbound on Cream Level Road (oftentimes known as Wofford Street) and stopped for a while, but then it continued to drive across the tracks directly in front of the oncoming train.
There were no automated arms or warning lights flashing at the intersection, but there were cross buck and yield signs in place, the police said.
The train then pushed the bus about a quarter of a mile down the tracks and stopped at the Murchison Street crossing.
The driver of the bus, 78-year-old John Stevens, was brought to a hospital where he was treated for minor injuries. His two passengers, however, were not as lucky. Christopher Bonilla, 13, was ejected during the collision and was pronounced dead at the scene while his cousin, 9-year-old Joselynne Torres, was found trapped inside the bus, and after the Athens Fire Department extracted her, she was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. As of Saturday afternoon, it is reported that she was now stable after undergoing surgery.
It is unfortunate to hear of the passing of Christopher Bonilla, and it is even more unfortunate to realize that he is not the first one whose life is taken away by a vehicular accident, particularly a train accident. According to the National Transportation Safety Bureau, nearly every 2 hours, someone or a vehicle is hit by a train in the U.S. Some of the common scenarios in this kind of vehicular accident are derailment, train-train collisions, train-car collisions, train-person collisions, and damage to property.
Studies have shown that nearly 1,000 people die every year in the United States because of a train accident. Additionally, the occurrence and frequency of train accidents has been said to escalate since 1997.
Train accidents are undoubtedly tragic and devastating, and as if that is not bad enough, they can also be very complicated and difficult for the victims. Thankfully, there are experienced lawyers who specialize in this kind of accident, so if you are a victim of a train-related accident, or you know someone who is, or you lost a loved one because of this, then please don’t hesitate to seek for help because there will always be someone ready to help you.