Four children suffered minor injuries when the school bus they were riding in was rear-ended by a suspected drunk driver on Monday, August 26.
According to Anderson police, 23-year-old Peyton Tonning was driving a Chevy Equinox when he rear-ended the Anderson Community School bus near the intersection of Columbus Avenue and East 38th Street at around 3:50 p.m. on Monday.
Tonning reportedly left the scene of the crash on foot but was tracked down by responding officers in the 3700 block of Columbus Avenue after a witness identified him to police. Witnesses told police that they saw Tonning behind the wheel of the Chevy that crashed into the bus.
Police say that Tonning was in possession of eight small liquor bottles. Officers administered a portable breath test, which showed his blood alcohol content as .18 percent – over twice the legal limit.
The four injured children were treated for non-life-threatening injuries at the hospital and released shortly after.
Attorney contributor Jeff Gibson of the law firm Wagner Reese represents people who have been injured by drunk drivers, helping them secure the financial compensation they deserve. Jeff has offered to add some thoughts on the options for financial compensation available to people who have been hit by drunk drivers in Indiana:
When someone is injured in a car crash, they may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against the person responsible for causing the crash. This applies in crashed involving drunk drivers and other forms of negligence.
Additionally, Indiana is one of several states which have dram shop laws. These laws allow people who have been injured by drunk drivers to file lawsuits against alcohol vendors, depending on the circumstances of the crash.
According to Indiana’s dram shop law, an alcohol vendor or social host can be held liable for injuries caused by a customer if the vendor or host provided alcohol to someone who they knew was intoxicated and this intoxication was a foreseeable cause of the injuries suffered.
For example, if a bartender continues serving a customer who is visibly drunk and that customer injures someone else in a drunk driving crash after leaving the bar, the injured person may have grounds for a dram shop lawsuit against the bar.