Many Missourians still remember the fatal Missouri school bus accident that occurred more than a year ago on I-44. The Missouri multivehicle traffic accident involved two school buses, a tractor cab without a trailer, and a pickup truck.
The accident resulted in two deaths. Female high school student Jessica Binker, 15, died in the accident. Daniel Schatz, the 19 year old driving the pickup truck, also died during the collision. Up to 50 additional people suffered injuries as a result of the accident. The students from the John F. Hodge High School band were on their way to Six Flags when the tragic accident occurred.
Now, two bus drivers were arraigned for criminal charges related to the accident. 76 year old bus driver Katherine Shackelford and 29 year old bus driver Kelly McEnnish-Mullenix have been charged with careless and impudent driving.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Shackelford inattentively crashed into the rear of the non-moving pickup truck. McEnnish-Mullenix slammed the second school bus in the back of the first school bus. The force of the impact pushed the pickup truck into the non-moving tractor cab.
The criminal case resulting from the fatal Missouri bus accident will be heard by Judge David Hoven. A hearing is scheduled for this December. Neither defendant appeared for the arraignment that occurred this week.
Last year’s fatal Missouri school bus accident is sadly just one example of the devastation that occurs as a result of dangerous driving distractions in Missouri. Experienced drivers may feel that driving is an automatic process, but driving is complex. Drivers must monitor their speed, adapt to the curvature of the road, and monitor dynamic traffic conditions. Even the most experienced drivers need to actively pay attention and remember all of the Missouri school bus laws while driving.
Missouri distracted driving increases the risk of a serious traffic accident. If a bus driver is talking to a passenger, using a mobile communication device, altering GPS input, or eating while driving, the bus driver is not devoting an appropriate amount of attention to the road. If there are any unexpected road conditions, such as non-moving vehicles on an interstate highway, the distracted bus driver may not have ample time to respond.