The driver of a pickup died last week after her vehicle crossed the median on Interstate 20 in Talladega County and collided with a school bus full of high school football players. Eleven students and three adults were also injured. The students were taken to Children’s Hospital. The driver of the bus was airlifted to UAB Hospital with “serious” but not life-threatening injuries, Trooper Cpl. Jimmy Harrell told AL.com.
Twenty-five students from Handley High School and three adults were on the bus, which was taking the seventh- and eighth-grade and junior varsity football teams home to Roanoke from a game in Leeds.
The accident occurred around 9:25 p.m., when the Toyota Tacoma driven by Amanda Nicole Hubbard, 31, crossed the median and hit the bus, which was traveling in the opposite direction. According to varsity football coach Larry Strain, who was sitting in the front seat of the bus when the accident occurred, the car went airborne after crossing the median and crashed into the top of the bus on the driver’s side. The bus then crossed over the median and into the westbound lanes.
Nationally, more than 700 million passengers are transported by buses each year, most traveling safely to and from their destinations. However, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), more than 250 people are killed and 20,000 were injured in bus-related crashes in 2009.
From 2006 to 2016, school buses accounted for 40 percent of all bus crashes involving fatalities, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)’s Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts.