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School bus stop accidents claim 4 lives in one week, injure more

The dangers of going to and from school for children were made tragically apparent recently with four separate incidents involving children being struck by vehicles at or near their school bus stops. One of those accidents occurred here in Mississippi.

A 9-year-old boy was fatally struck by a pickup truck in Lee County on Halloween. According to state troopers, he was crossing Highway 370 to board his bus. The 22-year-old driver has been charged with aggravated assault.

In Tampa the following morning, a car drove into a group of five children at a school bus stop. None of the children's injuries were reported to be life-threatening, but one was listed in critical condition. The children, who were between 6 and 12, were waiting at the bus stop with two adults when the driver, who witnesses said was speeding, hit them.

A Tampa Fire Rescue truck on the way to the scene hit another vehicle. Two first responders and the driver of the car they hit were hospitalized, but only as a precaution.

The driver who struck the group at the bus stop, at last report, hadn't been charged. Authorities are still investigating the incident, but say he didn't appear to be under the influence or to have intentionally struck the group.

That same morning, a second-grade student in Pennsylvania was waiting for his school bus when he was struck and killed. The bus driver discovered the child. It wasn't reported whether the driver who hit him was found.

The same week in Indiana, 6-year-old twin brothers and their sister, age 9, were killed and an 11-year-old boy was injured as they crossed the street to get on their school bus. A pickup truck driver struck them, and the 24-year-old woman driving the truck is facing charges of felony reckless homicide as well as illegally passing a school bus.

Certainly, no amount of compensation can make up for the loss or even the injury of a child. However, parents have the right to take civil action against drivers whose actions or negligence caused the crash. Regardless of whether the drivers are held criminally responsible, families can seek compensation to help cover medical bills, burial costs, pain and suffering and other damages.

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