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Florida Mother Who Pulled Children from Burning School Bus Files Truck Accident Lawsuit

A Florida mother is suing Adujar Transport Inc., Comtrak Logistics Inc., and truck driver Renaldo Andujar-Gonzales for personal injury. Rhonda Arbuckle’s three children, JaSena, 11, Natalie, 13, and Joshua, 16, sustained injuries on September 23 when a semitrailer, driven by Andujar-Gonzales, crashed into the Marion County school bus they were riding on US 301, south of Citra. Both the 1991 Freightliner and the school bus caught fire. According to her Florida truck accident lawsuit, Arbuckle, who ran to the crash scene, pulled her kids off the bus. She then tried to rescue another child, but a small blast made it impossible. Frances Margay Schee, 13, would end up dying in the accident. Eight other students, the bus driver, and Andujar-Gonzales were taken to hospitals for treatment of their injuries. Arbuckle wants damages for herself and her three children. She is accusing Andujar-Gonzales of negligence and the trucking and transport companies of vicarious liability. Many people believe that the bus-truck crash could have been prevented. The bus was reportedly stopped when it was rear-ended by the semi-truck. The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the accident. A preliminary accident report indicates that the truck's faulty brakes may have contributed to the crash. The semitrailer that Andujar-Gonzales was driving reportedly was taken out of service earlier that day because of brake problems. Andujar-Gonzales also told investigators that he was using his cell phone right before the accident and did not see the bus. Cell Phone Use When Driving While the state of Florida does not prevent motorists from using hand-held cellular phones while they are driving, studies have shown that driving while talking or text messaging on a cell phone can increase the chances of a motor vehicle accident occurring. A driver is more likely to take his or her eyes off the road while dialing or texting. He or she may also become so absorbed in the conversation that driver distraction can occur. Lawsuit filed in bus-truck crash, Ocala.com, November 6, 2008 Related Web Resources: Cell Phone Driving Laws, GHSA.org Cellphones and Driving, III.org