Carrollton Bus Crash: 20 Years Later

May 13, 2008 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: WCPO

“Before '88 there was not much to the driver training program but, since, we've practiced defensive driving and all the things to avoid accidents. But, should you get involved in an accident, we do practice the proper evacuation techniques”

Last Update: 5/13 8:57 pm Tom McKee Alyssa Bunn The biggest changes ever made in school bus safety are a direct result of the nation's worst drunk driving crash in history. via WCPO

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sadd

New Albany, IN

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#1
May 15, 2008
 

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The guy driving the pickup truck should of been the one to loose his life he needs to pay for it some more and understand
he has ruined so many people's life including mine and this is a very sad event that has happened

Since: Jun 08

Cecilia, KY

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#2
Jun 9, 2008
 
i am so sorry for these victims and their families. i was a kid when this happened but i do remember it. it was the saddest thing i had ever heard, it gave me nightmares for weeks. i hope that time has brought some peace to them.
brandy

Jonesborough, TN

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#3
Jun 22, 2008
 

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i am a friend of larry mahoneys son tony i think this is crazy all the crap people want to talk bout larry. he served his time he went up for parole a couple of times and denied it wanted to sreve his time for what happen and he has to live with this crash for the rest of his life why cant everyone just leave him alone why does everyone want to blame him what about the saftey issues in the school systems and on that school bus its rediculous that everyone is downing larry i feel sorry for the families and victims also but its time everyone slowly stops bugging about it and come to realize that talking crap and harrassing larrrys family is not going to bring the victims back.....
showtime

Campbellsville, KY

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#4
Jul 30, 2008
 

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brandy wrote:
i am a friend of larry mahoneys son tony i think this is crazy all the crap people want to talk bout larry. he served his time he went up for parole a couple of times and denied it wanted to sreve his time for what happen and he has to live with this crash for the rest of his life why cant everyone just leave him alone why does everyone want to blame him what about the saftey issues in the school systems and on that school bus its rediculous that everyone is downing larry i feel sorry for the families and victims also but its time everyone slowly stops bugging about it and come to realize that talking crap and harrassing larrrys family is not going to bring the victims back.....
YOU KNOW brandy,you are right to a degree.
yes you cannot bring back the 27 who died on the bus,NOR, can you EVER TAKE AWAY THE MEMORIES OF THOSE THAT WERE INVOLVED!
i know quite a bit about his crash as i was a friend to one of the boys at the time who was at the back of the bus and helped get a LOT! of the 34 that was injured out of there,as well as iknew some of the people of whom perished in the fire on board.
that bus had went through some modifications for safety bcak in that time frame that were considered by the engineers as deemed to be safe with in the boundries of the equipment itself.some of the phases of safety back in 1988 was fairly laxed and was not a very big concern.but once some flaw was discovered, then there were immediate notifications to get the flaw or hazard taken care of!
you state that the Mahoney family should beleft alone and let this to rest,WELL.... i disagree with you!
Larry SHOULD have been sentenced to life in prison for this because there was 27 counts of vehicular Homicide involved with the crash,AND BE IT ALSO KNOWN TO YOU THAT HE WAS TRAVELLING IN EXCESSOF 100 MPH AND DRIVING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD AND INTOXICATED!!!!
BUT.....because the jury for some GOD forsaken reason did not see this, they gave him the 17 years in prison.
BELIEVE ME, this stirred up a massive hornet's nest when the verdict was announced.
needless to say, sure... it took a bus crash and the loss of lives to wake Larry up to the realization that it wasn't worth the alcohol he drank that day...but because of his STUPIDITY!
it is GREAT that he still has to suffer from the consequences of it!
so do not just try to put the blame on the safety of the bus. it was deemed safe,according to safety regulations back in 1988.
Dawn

Enterprise, AL

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#5
Aug 11, 2008
 

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Brandy,
Lets hope Larry feels really bad about what he did. When he got behind the wheel of a vehicle intoxicated like he was, he was taking a really big risk, to himself and others.
I would feel awful too. Yes, he probably has paid with his conscience but society always pities the offender these days. What do you think the people on that bus went through? Imagine being in a crowded bus that is on fire and you can't get out? Imagine the last few thoughts these poor people had? I'm tired of people always feeling sorry for the offender and what they are going through and never considering the feelings of those that have suffered at their hands. These thoughts are so backwards to me.
27 lives were taken and I don't know how many families were affected by his decision to drive like a maniac that night. Some families were affected double and triple. Some families only lost one person, some more than one, I can't imagine losing one child, much less two.
I am glad to hear that he didn't want parole when it was offered, at least that shows some remorse over this awful tradgedy.
Ky born Ky bred

Palo Alto, CA

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#6
Sep 14, 2008
 

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It has amazed me over the years how the liquor industry has gotten off scott free from their involvement in this incident. This is industry is so powerful that, if you will remember, they almost immediately changed the focus on the news slant from a drunk driver to school busses needing their gas tanks fitted with better protection. The Comunist-Journal up here in Louisville beat that drum long and loud. And, before long, no one was talking about a drunk driver, they were talking about school bus gas tanks. Other than myself, I have not heard anyone else comment on this.
know the facts

Villa Park, IL

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#7
Sep 15, 2008
 

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I actually studied this case in law school, both in criminal law and while studying products liability. The reason so many people died was because of the defective placement of the gas tank. Ford Motor Co. was sued over it because it was aware of the defect, could have fixed the defect for about $20 per bus, but didn't.

I moved to Carrollton about a year after finishing law school. I have never met Mr. Mahoney, but in such a small town, I met plenty of people who knew him before and after this tragedy. From what people say, this crash changed him and humbled him...I hear he is truly remorseful. He refused parole. Since his release, he spends his time speaking to children about the dangers of driving drunk. He has paid his debt to society.

Yes, but for his driving drunk, this accident would have never occurred. However, had Ford done what it should have done, so many lives would not have been lost.
warsaw

AOL

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#8
Sep 16, 2008
 

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This is one case that I can see many sides of the issue. At the time of this crash I too said that Mr. Mahoney should get life in prison or even death. I do not however blame the liquor industry. In this world an adult should be held accountable for their actions. Saying that anyone associated with the liquor or beer industry is guilty is like saying any auto maker is at fault for making a car go 100 mph. In warsaw we have a man that was driving a high rate of speed, drunk and on the wrong side of the rode slammed head on into a young girl that just graduated at the top of her class and killed her. As usual the drunk driver of the other car lived. This man has a family history of drunken driving but due to family political connections will probadly get off with not much more than a slap on the wrist. Un Mr mahoney's case he was tried, convicted and spent every day of the sentance handed to him in prison.
Confederate resurgency

Palo Alto, CA

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#9
Sep 25, 2008
 

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"I actually studied this case in law school, both in criminal law and while studying products liability. The reason so many people died was because of the defective placement of the gas tank..."
You logic is faulty. You identify a secondary result as the cause. The reason so many people died is because a drunk was on the wrong side of the road and ran head first into a bus. The liquor industry hustled like crazy to deflect their responsibility in the Primary cause (...a drunk...) and with people like yourself were successful in promoting a secondary result to the prime spot of cause.
Confederate resurgency

Palo Alto, CA

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#10
Sep 25, 2008
 
warsaw wrote:
This is one case that I can see many sides of the issue. At the time of this crash I too said that Mr. Mahoney should get life in prison or even death. I do not however blame the liquor industry. In this world an adult should be held accountable for their actions. Saying that anyone associated with the liquor or beer industry is guilty is like saying any auto maker is at fault for making a car go 100 mph. In warsaw we have a man that was driving a high rate of speed, drunk and on the wrong side of the rode slammed head on into a young girl that just graduated at the top of her class and killed her. As usual the drunk driver of the other car lived. This man has a family history of drunken driving but due to family political connections will probadly get off with not much more than a slap on the wrist. Un Mr mahoney's case he was tried, convicted and spent every day of the sentance handed to him in prison.
So...the liquor industry is completely innocent of any responsibility in all such events then????
toking

Holly Springs, NC

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#11
Jun 6, 2009
 

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The industry didnt make the guy get behind the wheel.
Ms Lovely

Louisville, KY

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#12
Jun 9, 2009
 

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Confederate resurgency wrote:
"I actually studied this case in law school, both in criminal law and while studying products liability. The reason so many people died was because of the defective placement of the gas tank..."
You logic is faulty. You identify a secondary result as the cause. The reason so many people died is because a drunk was on the wrong side of the road and ran head first into a bus. The liquor industry hustled like crazy to deflect their responsibility in the Primary cause (...a drunk...) and with people like yourself were successful in promoting a secondary result to the prime spot of cause.
You are wrong the liquor is not responsible are you crazy that's why our government to this day has to put labels on everything to help stupid people not be so stupid you can kill yourself with anything. In any regard Larry's friends were spiking his drink. He had no idea how much he had. He was wrong to drink and drive but that bus would have never caught fire if one of the children on the bus had not had a lighter and the tank had not been devective. Things like this happen and you can point the finger in any direction.
Good Advice

Elizabethtown, KY

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#13
Jun 16, 2009
 

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Don't Drink and drive.
just me

United States

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#14
Jun 16, 2009
 
Thats weird... I work for the dept. of corrections and had to go to Campbell co today to pick up a couple inmates. I was on 71 and went through carrolton.... I was just thinking about this today when I saw a sign that said home of the carrolton co bus crash.... I dont think anyone will ever forget it or be let to forget it, but I hope a pray Larry did learn his lesson and is truly remorseful. He will have to live with this forever. Working in Corrections I see more time giving to drug abusers and dealers then to people that commit manslaughter, it doesnt make sense, and I see a lot of people come back to prison,but maybe by this experience, Larry has done some good in his life since the crash. I dont know I havent kept up with him, but as far as I know he HASNT been back to prison.. Sorry to all the families involved, I cant imagine.
JustAMe

Elizabethtown, KY

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#15
Jul 7, 2009
 

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brandy wrote:
i am a friend of larry mahoneys son tony i think this is crazy all the crap people want to talk bout larry. he served his time he went up for parole a couple of times and denied it wanted to sreve his time for what happen and he has to live with this crash for the rest of his life why cant everyone just leave him alone why does everyone want to blame him what about the saftey issues in the school systems and on that school bus its rediculous that everyone is downing larry i feel sorry for the families and victims also but its time everyone slowly stops bugging about it and come to realize that talking crap and harrassing larrrys family is not going to bring the victims back.....
No shit.. Don't you think people know that. He is a KILLER!

Since: Jul 09

Radcliff, KY

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#16
Jul 11, 2009
 
The blame lies within our laws in the United States first.
Anything that impairs your thought process, movement or speech should be deemed as a drug including alcohol.
The United States as well as most all countries all fail to recognize that alcohol is just a form of a drug.
Its effects are the same as any suppressants, depressants and tranquillizers all in one.
A suppressant is an agent that suppresses or diminishes a physical or mental activity. A depressant calm nerves and relax muscles. Tranquillizer are use to make you sleep.
Alcohol is as much addicting like most drugs.
It can cause birth defects.

I see no difference between using alcohol and using drugs. Using alcohol is just another form of getting high no matter how old you are and no matter how much you drink.
Marijuana is not the gateway drug. Alcohol is! America should need a prescription to get it.
Nobody would buy it if they couldn't buy enough to catch a buzz.

I am not saying what Larry did was right. There was more than one guilty party that caused those events to unfold that way that night.
Ford knew about the problems with the location of the gas tanks on their buses way before the accident.
The bar who served Larry just kept serving him without a thought of how that man got there and how he was getting home.
Larry himself who only thought about his buzz. Most importantly our laws regulating alcohol.

I am so sorry that us Americans all let those people on that bus down. So sorry of all the lives killed, hurt and it effected. So sorry for all the victims harmed by unregulated alcohol period. I have seen nothing much change since that accident.
Punishing Larry more is not going to change things. It wont bring the lives lost back or fix the past and nor take away the pain.
No punishment can touch Larry more than the pain he's going through living with this.
We need to educate ourselves and change the regulations laws on alcohol now!
BBB

United States

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#17
Sep 27, 2009
 

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this is a crazy thread that as far as I cna tell isn't helping anyone.
I remember the crash well and lost some friends,my son was supposed to be on that bus but thank heaven changed his mind.
The crash was a combination of things,sure Larry was drunk but he didnt set out to kill these people.The liquor companies have no fault as far as I am concerned as long as the alcohol was legally obtained.You cannot blame ford since the bus was up to standards when it was built.Planes burn when they crash,sometimes so do cars and buses,just physics.If anything the church should be liable for being tightwads and sending all these people out in a $700.00 worn out school bus.If some of the Irelands and Pearmans had of spent the money for a modern diesel bus we wouldnt be talking about such a terrible tragedy today.As I said,we can do lot's of "what if's",the only thing useful is to prevent it happening again.
random person

AOL

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#18
Oct 4, 2009
 
I went to the funerals at the time of the accident, and cried for lost friends. And went to the 20 year anniversary memorial. Rather then play the blame game about what should have been done in someones prison sentence 21 years ago, live life and teach awareness to your children about drinking and driving. Get the message out and tell the story. Never forget what price these lives paid. YouTube - The Phoenix promo trailer (The story of one of the survivors Harold Dennis)
someone who cares

United States

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#19
Oct 10, 2009
 
I am someone who lives in Carrollton and have my entire life. I am someone who had family traveling home late the night of the terrible bus crash. I am someone who knows the community of Carrollton and the great grief we have felt for the families of those who survived and died the night of the bus crash. I am someone who knows personally friends who assisted with the crash, sit on the jury, and lived knowing our community will always be know for the bus crash. I am someone who prayed for the families of both the individuals on the bus and the family of Larry Mahoney and yes Mr. Mahoney himself. I don't know Mr. Mahoney or any of the individuals on the bus. I know there will always be blame placed in many directions. To Mr. Mahoney for driving drunk and on the wrong side of the interstate, for the bus manufactures for placing the gas tank where it was placed, for the individuals for having coolers in the aisle and over-crowding the bus, for the jury for given Mr. Mahoney a light sentence, for the judge for allowing it. The blame can go on forever. I believe God has a plan for us all and all things happen for a reason. As I have read in the many years since this terrible accident many wonderful things has happen to many wonderful people. GOD'S PLAN. God Bless them all.
Home Town Boy

Lexington, KY

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#20
Oct 11, 2009
 
I know the crash hurt so many lives but justice has been served for the man. Nobody knows how if feels about the whole thing. His guilt is something that he has to walk around with for all eternity. Could you live with that forever, knowing you ended peoples lives is something that I couldn't think of in a million years. Now don't think that I'm being one of those "let it go" people that's not what I'm saying but nothing will bring them back so the best thing for everyone to cherish the memory of our loved ones.

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