WACO (August 17, 2012)—Eight families who had children on an Academy school bus last January that collided with a delivery truck in Little River have settled with the company that owned the truck.
Documents filed with the McLennan County District Clerk’s office indicate the families reached a settlement with Lowe’s, Inc., and received compensation, although the limit of that compensation was not disclosed.
At around 7:30 a.m. on January 17 at the intersection of Farm-to-Market Road 93 and Old Highway 95, the Academy ISD bus collided with a Lowe’s delivery truck that subsequent investigation revealed had failed to stop at a stop sign.
Bus driver Jimmy Johnson, 71, eventually died of injuries he sustained in the crash.
Haley Johannsen, 14, a middle school student, remains paralyzed from injuries she received in the crash.
Neither Johanssen nor Johnson were among those named as having settled with Lowe’s.
Both Lowe’s Home Centers and truck driver Christopher Richardson were named as defendants in the suits.
The filings indicate each party was compensated for physical pain, impairment, suffering and mental anguish that resulted from the crash.
The collision sent 29 children and three adults to Scott & White Hospital and Scott & White Children's Hospital.
Four children and the bus driver were admitted, but the rest suffered what were apparently minor injuries.
Richardson and a passenger in the Lowe’s truck were also injured and were taken to the hospital.
Their injuries were minor, a state trooper said.
Thomas Pechal, of Temple Fire & Rescue, said the Little River-Academy school bus came to rest on its side.
The bus was carrying elementary and middle school children.
A 9-year-old boy was ejected through a hatch in the roof of a bus.
The bus was westbound on FM 93 and the truck was southbound on Old Highway 95 when the driver of the truck ran a stop sign, according to a state trooper.
There was fog in the area early that day, but it's not clear whether that might have been a factor, the trooper said.
Fire units from Little River, Temple and Belton were at the scene along with a large number of ambulances.