On May 14, 1988, a grim bus crash took place in Carrollton, Kentucky. This event is remembered today as the Carrollton Bus Crash. This drunk driving accident is the second deadliest crash to have occurred in the history of the United States. The bus was carrying 62 children (ages 8-16), four chaperones and a driver. Out of the 67 passengers, 27 died while 34 were injured. Only three escaped unharmed.
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How the Accident Occurred
A Toyota pick-up truck, driven by a drunk driver, hit the school bus head-on. This ruptured the bus’ gas tank and caused a fire within seconds. The crash left the front door of the bus jammed shut, so passengers were forced to exit through the rear door, which was blocked by coolers. The bus was returning home from a church trip at King’s Island Amusement Park. The truck driver, Larry Mahoney, had been drinking the entire day. He survived the accident. This horrific crash triggered nationwide action on school bus safety and drunk driving.
Remembering the Carrollton Bus Crash
Some of the Carrollton bus crash survivors, one of whom was Quinton Higgins, strive to keep the memory of the crash alive to teach everyone about the dangers of drunk driving. Higgins recently purchased a bus that resembles the bus from 1988. He plans on turning it into a rolling memorial. He has also considered speaking in front of people about the damages of drunk driving.
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In 2012, 746 traffic fatalities were recorded in our state and 26% were alcohol-related. Concerned organizations and local officials are trying to build drunk driving awareness to try and put an end to it. Let’s help out. Like Higgins, let’s remember those who were involved in the Carrollton Bus Crash by spreading the word about the dangers of drunk driving.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I give my full support to Higgins and the rest of Kentucky locals advocating for road safety. No one wants an accident to happen, so let’s spread the word about not drinking and driving. We’re not saying that you can’t drink at all, but we want everyone to drink responsibly. If you go to a party or event where you know there will be alcohol, plan ahead. You can designate a driver before the party, call a taxi to take you home or have a family member or friend drive you home. Please don’t ever insist that you are alright to drive. You may feel alert, but the alcohol will affect your judgement and your reaction speed. This could be a deadly combination. Never drink and drive.