Field trips are one of the best things about being in school, particularly in late spring, when students are restless and eager to get out of the classroom for any reason at all. They’re even more exciting when they involve a trip out of town for some sightseeing. And although the permission slip is still a necessity to ensure that parents know where their children are headed, most students, teachers and parents don’t expect anything to go wrong on these trips. But sometimes, unfortunately, accidents do happen.

Several Pennsylvania students on a sightseeing tour were injured last week when a box truck rear-ended the bus they were traveling in, according to emergency officials. The students from Dallastown Area Middle School were on their way to Washington, D.C., when the crash happened. As a result, eight passengers on the bus were sent to a hospital with neck and back injuries, according to a fire department spokesman.

But behind that accident, another one occurred, this one involving a tour bus that crashed into the back of another bus filled with Dallastown students. Four children and an adult on that bus were taken to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries. It’s not clear where the tour bus that rear-ended the Dallastown bus was coming from, but there didn’t appear to be any injuries in the bus that caused the second accident.

The dual accidents must have worried parents of children on the field trip, especially because they were already out of the state by the time the crashes happened. They also must have wondered who would be held responsible for paying the students’ medical bills. Because the vehicles that rear-ended both buses were owned by businesses, the liability will probably fall on the business owners, rather than their drivers. But that decision will be made by police, the transportation companies’ insurance providers and quite possibly the courts, if there are any disagreements on the severity of the injuries, the damage to the buses or any other compensation issues.

As for the students on the trip, it must have been scary to be involved in an accident, and to go to the hospital or see their friends taken there. They may also worry that their parents won’t allow them to go on any more field trips in the future.

Source:, “Bus crash involving Pennsylvania students sends more than a dozen to hospital,” Natalie McGill, May 16, 2012