Russ Hughes Injured In Accident At Urbana Middle School

Russ Hughes, Student At Urbana Middle School, Injured After Being Knocked Out of His Wheelchair While Being Transferred Onto School Bus —> GoFundMe Created To Support Victim

Russ Hughes Injured In Accident At Urbana Middle School

URBANA, ILLINOIS (April 7, 2024) – An Urbana Middle School student identified as Russ Hughes was injured in a wheelchair accident while being loaded onto a school bus.

Family members of the student are saying that the school district has not communicated with them about the incident. His family said that Russ Hughes was knocked out of his wheelchair while being transferred to the bus.

He was seriously injured and reportedly sustained a neck fracture from the fall. This was not the first time that the child has been injured at school.

Clarissa Nickerson Fourman is the victim’s cousin. She told reporters that he had previously been trampled in his walker, which is why he has since been transported in a wheelchair.

You can help support Russ Hughes and his family as he continues to recover through GoFundMe.

According to the GoFundMe page, “Russ recently suffered a tragic neck injury and will require significant time for recovery. Russ is a person that requires a lot of support throughout the day. The loss of income will be a major blow for his family. The money raised will be used to pay for any costs that the family cannot cover due to the loss of income; Food, housing, transportation, medical costs, etc… Anything you can donate will be greatly appreciated. Every little bit helps and we cannot thank you enough for your support.”

Liability For Urbana Middle School Accidents

Tens of millions of children go to school every day in the United States. Most children return home safe, but a large number of kids are injured at school each year. According to one study in PubMed, “Playgrounds were responsible for the highest overall and elementary school rates, whereas sports areas and classrooms had the highest rates among secondary school students. Falls were the most frequent cause of injury in elementary schools whereas, as expected, sports injuries were the most frequent cause among secondary school students.” Schools should take a number of measures in order to prevent accidents.

  • Schools should develop safety policies and procedures for various activities, such as sports and playground use.
  • Schools should provide regular safety education to teachers as well as students.
  • Schools should regularly inspect and maintain their facilities and equipment.
  • Schools should develop emergency plans for responding to injuries and other emergencies.

Schools have a legal obligation to protect students from reasonably foreseeable sources of harm. To that end, students must be adequately supervised at all times. Consider, for example, Taylor v. Oakland Scavenger Co., “It is the duty of the school authorities to supervise at all times the conduct of the children on the school grounds and to enforce those rules and regulations necessary to their protection.” Students with disabilities or special needs will nearly always require greater levels of supervision. If school officials fail to adequately supervise children who are then injured, this could form the basis of a negligence claim.

There are laws and regulations that govern how to transport students with disabilities and special needs. According to the Illinois State Board of Education, “If the wheelchair is to be transported, it must be secured properly. Wheelchairs or other wheel-based mobility devices should not be placed on the lift unless they are equipped with a functional wheel-locking system.” There is no reason that a wheelchair should ever be knocked over as a child is being transported. These types of accidents occur when teachers or school employees are not following safety protocols. It is important that several steps are taken after any serious accident at school.

  • Eyewitnesses should be interviewed.
  • Surveillance footage should be sought.
  • Medical records related to the accident should be preserved.
  • An independent investigation should be conducted.

The vast majority of accidents at public schools are preventable. This is particularly true for students with disabilities. These students are often heavily reliant on the competence of the school officials around them. Sadly, though, there are many instances where school officials have failed to safeguard the wellbeing of special needs students. To make matters worse, school districts will often do everything in their power to deny responsibility if a child is injured in their care. This is why it is so important to have any accident evaluated by skilled legal counsel.

Investigating Accidents At Urbana Middle School

We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our best wishes to Russ Hughes and his family as he continues to recover. This was a tragic accident that should not have taken place. The school district needs to do the right thing and be totally transparent about what happened. There needs to be a thorough investigation into the actions of the school officials who let this happen on their watch.

Do you need more information about an accident at any school in Illinois? Our team of school injury attorneys is here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that parents are aware of their rights and that school districts are held accountable for their negligent actions. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any accident, we will get you the information that you deserve. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.