USA Today-Larry Copeland-May 13, 2013-According to the article on May 14, 1988, a drunken motorist driving on the wrong side of a Kentucky highway slammed head-on into a school bus carrying 67 people, mostly children, headed home from a church trip to an amusement park. The crash occurred about 10:55 p.m., on Interstate 71 south near Carrollton. The 34-year-old driver was intoxicated and driving his black Toyota pickup north in the southbound lanes of I-71. The crash ruptured the bus' gas tank, sparking a fast-moving inferno that took the lives of 25 children, the bus driver and an adult chaperon, 34 other people were injured.
The horrific crash sparked major changes in the operation and equipment of school buses in Kentucky and other states and it led to stronger DUI laws in the Bluegrass State. Two of the mothers who lost children in the crash sued the school bus manufacturers, which led to major improvements in school bus safety, such as safer gas tanks, more emergency exits and less flammable fuel.
Marking the 25th anniversary, a new documentary about the crash, IMPACT: After the Crash, will be screened for survivors and victims' families Tuesday in Radcliff, Ky. It will also be shown in schools around the state.
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