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Parking Brake Systems, Serious Concern

The accidents below are just a few of the thousands that have occurred when the air/emergency brake has not been engaged properly, securely, or at all.

Book Bag Tripped Parking Brake on Bus in
Friday Wreck, Police Say
An errant book bag released the brake on the school bus that hit a parked car Friday by the Joseph Gomez Elementary School, police said Wednesday.

A preliminary investigation by the V.I. Police Departments traffic investigation bureau indicates the school bus parking brake knob was disengaged when a student tossed a book bag in the bus and hit the knob, releasing the brake, said Melody Rames.

The bus rolled down a hill, hitting a parked car containing passengers and pushing it about 33 feet into two other unoccupied vehicles. No students were injured.

The passengers in the car were complaining of discomfort, but okay.

School Bus Driver Injured in Incident
While a school bus driver attempted to park an empty bus Monday morning, the bus slid down an embankment, through a guardrail and crashed into a fence, causing about $50,000 in damage, police said.

The driver was transported to Mercy Medical Center-Dubuque, where he was treated and released for minor injuries.

Just after 8:30 a.m., the driver was attempting to park a bus in a lot at 1350 West Locust Street. He told police that he put the bus in neutral, shut it off and then went to the back of the bus for an inspection, but he believes he forgot to activate the emergency brake, police said. When he walked back to the front, the bus went over a curb, through a guardrail and fence, down an embankment, where it stopped in a wooded area.

Dubuque Community Schools Transportation Manager said there was no one else on the bus at the time, and there were no other injuries. She said a preliminary estimate on damage could top $40,000.

The school district stated the bus driver has been with them for four years and he has a clean driving record.

A fire truck rolled out of Fire Rescue headquarters
into a downtown lake.
The driver/firefighter failed to set the truck’s parking brake after a run.The combination of a sloped floor in Fire Station 1 and movement in the water tank was enough to start the rig rolling. The truck rolled out of the station, down a ramp, across a busy street and into Lake Tuscawilla. No one was injured, but the truck sustained $60,000 in damage.

School Bus Tragedy in NYC
(CBS/AP) An 8-year-old boy was arrested after he sneaked onto a school bus and released its parking brake, causing it to roll forward and fatally strike a second-grader, police said Tuesday.

The boy was to be charged with criminally negligent homicide, Officer Doris Garcia said. Police were withholding his name because of his age, she said.

Investigators believe the driver got off the bus and secured it but the boy may have gotten inside through the back door, an emergency exit that cannot be locked, police spokeswoman Detective Theresa Farello said. No charges were filed against the driver. A spokesman for the Department of Education said the bus driver was finished with his rounds and on his lunch break. Sometime while the boy was on the bus, he released the parking brake.

School Bus Kills Bronx Boy Upstate
A 9-year-old Bronx boy was crushed to death by a rolling school bus on an Orange County apple farm yesterday after other kids horsing around in the bus released the parking brake.

Dozens of screaming youngsters ran for their lives as the bus careened nearly 300 feet down a hill before smashing little Robert Richard into a tree as he waited to take a pony ride.

Three other boys were hit but suffered only minor injuries, police said.

The accident occurred about 12:30pm at Maskers Apple Orchard in Warwick, about 60 miles north of the city.

As usual at this time of the year, the farm was busy with hundreds of visitors out to enjoy a day in the country at a place where they can play with animals, listen to Indian songs and enjoy picking their own apples.

Warwick Town Police Sgt. George Arnott said a bus from Faith Temple New Hope Christian School in East Orange, N.J., brought several dozen children to the farm in the morning and parked on an incline near the main office. The driver, he said, left the bus for a while around noon, and three boys one 9 the other two 11 entered the bus.

The kids apparently were just playing around, typical horseplay,  Arnott said. But somehow the parking brake got disengaged.

He said the three boys jumped from the bus as it began to roll down the hill and shouted warnings to dozens of children in the way. Young Robert was in a group of kids waiting at the bottom of the hill for pony rides and probably didn’t hear the boys yelling.

Witnesses said the bus smashed the boy into a tree and stopped, and scores of other children watched in horror. Arnott said psychological counselors were rushed to the farm to help the youngsters deal with the shock.

Arnott said investigators took statements from the three kids who released the parking brake and said it appears what happened was an accident. No charges have been filed in the case.

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2 Responses to Parking Brake Systems, Serious Concern

  1. Frank Williams says:

    SBS (www,safetybrake.com) designs and sells systems to prevent the accidental release of the parking brake as well as systems to alert the driver if the brake is not set as he/she leaves the drivers seat, These systems are installed on transit buses and Exxonmobil trucks across the nation.

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