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School Bus Kills Pedestrian, Controlled Substance Involved

An elderly California woman died this week after a school bus driver hit her in a crosswalk. Authorities are still investigating the motor vehicle wreck but they believe the bus driver was under the influence of a controlled substance at the time.

The accident occurred Wednesday afternoon while the victim was walking to a nearby drugstore. While the 75-year-old woman tried to cross a street at a designated crosswalk, a school bus made a left turn and hit her. The crash did not injure any of the children on the bus or the driver. The elderly victim passed away later that evening as a result of her injuries.

Authorities evaluated the bus driver at the scene and then a second time in another location, concluding that she was under the influence of an undisclosed substance at the time of the crash.

In fatal motor vehicle accidents like this, the victim's family members could potentially pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. The suit would seek to help a victim's family members recover the compensation they need to move forward without the companionship and support of a loved one.

Crashes that involve an employee driver can raise special issues. If the driver's employer failed to do a background check or random drug tests, an investigation could indicate that the employer bears some liability for the accident. While it is unclear what happened in this case, the school district insists that it carefully scrutinizes driver candidates and conducts random testing throughout the year.

Source: Ventura County Star, "Woman hit and killed by Ventura school bus was avid walker, world traveler," Cindy Von Quednow, Sept. 27, 2012

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