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School bus brakes fail, leads to multi-car wreck in Malden

No parent wants to receive a phone call from a hospital while the kids are at school. Thankfully, the parents of five special needs children, while apparently getting that call on September 19 in Malden, Massachusetts, were given the good news that their kids had received a clean report after a multi-vehicle accident.

Authorities say that a school bus transporting the kids was involved in a wreck at a stop light at an intersection along Salem Street. Authorities spoke with the bus driver, who said that when he tried to stop the bus, the brake pedal did nothing. Police impounded the bus after the wreck and say that an inspection reveals that the brakes were deficient and contributed to the wreck.

The bus slammed into the rear of a car stopped at a red light around 2:45 in the afternoon. Several cars apparently were lined up at the light. The bus plowed the car at the rear of the queue forward, and a chain-reaction crash evolved—three cars in all were involved in the bus and car accident.

Authorities say that an ambulance was called to the scene and all five kids aboard the bus were transported to the hospital, following protocol. The kids were evaluated and authorities say that they all checked out fine.

State police say that the drivers of the passenger vehicles involved in the accident were also taken to area hospitals for evaluation. Few details about the drivers have been released in the media. However, a spokesperson for state police says that the drivers suffered neck pain from the rear-end chain-reaction crash.

Any driver should know the importance of maintaining equipment on a vehicle. A properly functioning brake system on a vehicle is vital for safety of the driver and any passengers of the vehicle and for everyone else on the road. When the brakes on a school bus fail, children can be placed in serious danger. Bus system operators, like commercial vehicle companies, should be responsible for maintaining vehicles in good working order.

Authorities say that no citations have issued after the wreck, as the probe continues.

Source: The Malden Observer via Wicked Local, “Police: brakes a factor in accident,” Nathan Lamb, Sept. 25, 2013

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