Tulsa Public Schools Releases Partial Video From Bus Crash

Thursday, April 9th 2015, 1:44 pm
By: News On 6

Police say a rainy roadway likely was a factor in a Tulsa Public Schools bus rollover accident at U.S. Highway 75 near 41st Street on Wednesday. The crash left five people injured, including one student with a broken leg.

Ten students were on board, and four went to the hospital.

The students involved were from Project Accept - the elementary alternative school that's inside the Roosevelt building. One student remains in the hospital, and all others have been released, along with the bus driver.

4/8/2015 Related Story: Five Hurt When Tulsa School Bus Rolls Over On Highway 75

We requested a copy of the bus video under the Open Records Act, and received it late Thursday afternoon.

It's a brief video because Tulsa Public schools only released the last 21 seconds, which doesn't show the driver's actions before the accident was already underway. But it does show the bus fishtailing in a heavy rain on U.S. Highway 75, and the children start screaming in reaction.

The bus eventually goes off the road to the right, hits a guardrail and light pole, then down an embankment, and it just barely tips over on the side.

The GPS data from the bus, according to the district, shows the speed at 46 to 51 miles per hour just before the accident.

That's below the speed limit, but could be fast enough to hydroplane in a heavy rain. The police report on that isn't complete yet.

TPS says a student with a broken leg remains in the hospital. Several other students have bumps and bruises.

But why no seatbelts? The government doesn't require seatbelts in full size school buses, actually, it discourages them. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found "the addition of lap belts did not improve occupant protection" for head on crashes.

The National Academy of Sciences reports "the potential benefits ... insufficient to justify a mandate" to have seat belts on buses.And the NAS reports the most dangerous aspect of bus transportation is the loading zone, where there's a chance of a child being run over.