District School Bus Rear-Ended on the Way to UC High Students Transported to Hospital and Treated For Minor Injuries


courtesy of Mark Alfred

Julia Moyer, Staff Writer

   On December 19, a 76-year-old woman rear-ended a bus that was transporting 38 UC High students on Genessee Avenue, who were taking the C route on their way to school. As a result, the woman and all students on the school bus were transported to the hospital for non life-threatening injuries.

     The students’ hospital bills will be covered by Farmers’ Insurance, the district’s insurer. According to Vice Principal Jo McGlin, “They will be accepting liability for the bus accident.”

   “Our initial report came from a student, who let us know that there was a bus crash just off of the 52 freeway on Genesee, but we did not know if it was our bus or a Standley Middle School bus,” explained McGlin. “We called transportation and it was determined that it was one of our buses, so Mrs. Bradshaw and I responded to the accident scene,” she added.

   “The medics believed that the lady had a medical condition that caused her to not remember accelerating into the back of the bus,” said McGlin.

   “The driver of the other car [that rear-ended the bus] was brought to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries,” explained McGlin.

   She continued, “Originally, we had 11 students that were transported to the hospital, but then, about an hour later, due to some other students complaining about back and neck pains, we made a decision to bring the entire bus to Scripps La Jolla Hospital.”

   “When the medics notified the hospital, they were prepared for the first 11 kids, but after the second call, the hospital went into something called a diversion mode,” explained McGlin.

   “A diversion mode means that they had space available to take all of our kids and any other incidents that were happening in San Diego were diverted to other hospitals,” McGlin clarified.

   “Recently, some of the students and parents have been receiving bills, but I contacted our risk management department and they said not to worry because Farmers Insurance is covering the cost of any bills that occured,” explained Principal Jeff Olivero.

   “I think all of the students were shaken up, so I feel bad for everybody that was involved. However, I think it was a tremendous learning experience for the school as a whole of knowing the process of what happens when you have a mass incident,” explained McGlin.

   “When the car first hit the bus, my neck snapped because I was not expecting that to happen,” said Senior Marco Ibarra. He continued, “I had to sit out of playing soccer for three to four days.”

   “I think it is unfortunate for the driver who ran into the back of the bus as well as our kids who had to go through that experience,” said Olivero.

   “For me personally, it was fascinating watching the trauma care and the way the kids were tagged with cards that they placed around their necks, which identified who needed immediate care, who could wait, and what the symptoms were,” commented McGlin. “For some of the kids, it was their very first time at a hospital and I have got to say that Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla was absolutely incredible throughout the entire ordeal.”

   “They had a separate room for all of the parents to wait, where they provided drinks, food, and they even had social workers there to deal with all of the concerns of the families,” McGlin added. “Once the hospital found out that many of the kids had not eaten that morning, they turned around and rolled carts of food into the emergency room so they had everything they possibly needed.”

   Olivero added, “It was very interesting to see how the media covers these types of issues, because there was a helicopter  following the bus as they traveled to [Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla].”