Nineteen students on their way to an after-school program had a front seat view of a head-on collision. A black Ford SUV crossed the left of center yellow line and hit a Volkswagen sedan head-on. Three people were taken to the hospital, all expected to survive. Nobody on the school bus was hurt, as the overturned vehicle stopped just short of the bus.
Not so with a similar collision earlier this year. It involved a small passenger car in Missouri driving the wrong way on the freeway, hitting a school bus head-on and killing the driver. This bus was carrying 25 students to a basketball game.
In both videos, you can see people rushing to the scene of the crash, trying to help. This is the GOOD SAMARITAN law, generally providing basic legal protection for those who assist a person who is injured or in danger. In essence, these laws protect the Good Samaritan, i.e. individuals trying to help victims of crashes, from liability if unintended consequences result from their assistance. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have some type of Good Samaritan law.
In the case of the first collision, these Good Samaritans set up a “GoFundMe” page to help cover medical expenses. This is an example of crowdsourcing, a popular practice of raising money for a project, task or service from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. In just 24 hours they raised almost $1,500 of the $50,000 goal to help pay the victims’ medical bills. “The driver of the car struck by the SUV is lucky to be alive and doing as well as she is, but the medical bills are piling up,” the fundraising page states. Adding insult to injury, the woman that hit them let her insurance lapse and at the time of the accident was uninsured.