Yellow school busI have wistful memories of riding school buses as a youngster. While I walked the couple miles to school each day (yeah, in the snow, uphill each way) in grade school, many of us signed up for the after-school bowling league. I remember looking out the bus window each Wednesday afternoon as we went along, crossing the railroad tracks, seeing the supposedly “bottomless pond” where, legend had it, people had driven off the road and their cars sank, never to be found. After we moved to Upper Arlington, I regularly rode to bus to and from Junior High, rain or shine. 

My bus drivers were all big-hearted women who welcomed us kids and our boisterousness. We respected them and sometimes chuckled as they’d grind the gears while shifting. 

Maybe this explains the fondness I have for these ladies. I’ve written about a few of our bus driver clients before. As a kid, I never considered all they do and how many job hazards they face.

Our client Rebecca has many years under her belt with River Valley Local Schools. She’s retiring soon after many years and lots of injuries! 

We’ve handled her claims going back over 25 years, from the first “slip and fall” broken ankle, to a hip fracture leading to hip replacement to a fractured tailbone from falling on the bus. I think one of the most interesting was when she hit her back on the underside of the bus while pulling plastic stuck on the drive shaft. But the topper has to be the time she was training a new driver who hit the brakes when the light changed: the brakes grabbed and she fell on the “dog house” (the engine cover that sits in the floor just as you get to the top of the bus steps), rolled down the steps and hit her head. She really doesn’t remember much of this one, but she must’ve been a sight! Fortunately, this didn’t break bones but did cause lots of bruising and strains/sprains from head to toe!

We’ve been able to help Rebecca through each injury and even settlement of the claims when the time came. It seems she’s pretty happy with us, too, as she’s sent other clients our way so we could help them too. 

These drivers are welcome smiles to kiddos in the morning and at the end of the school day. They take our children and grandchildren safely, in all kinds of weather and all sorts of drama. They are a friendly face during the turbulent years of youth and adolescence. I’m glad we know Rebecca and so many others like her!

James Monast
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Board-Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Columbus, Ohio