Hillsborough school bus blows through stop signal

Bus showed up late, then rushed away

A Hillsborough County school bus driver is under review after showing up at a Tampa bus stop 51 minutes late and driving past another school bus with its stop arms flashing.

About a dozen students from Middleton High School were waiting for the bus to show up about 7 a.m. But many left to find other ways to get to school before the bus finally arrived shortly before 8 a.m.  

After the bus collected the one remaining student looking for a ride, it accelerated past an elementary school bus on the opposite side of East Henry Avenue that was loading children.

"You'd think they would take better precaution and more safety with the kids on the bus," said Carol Ing, who had two kids boarding the elementary school bus when the high school bus sped by. "That's somebody in a rush, and that's an accident waiting to happen."

Hillsborough school officials said the driver will meet before a committee that determines whether any discipline is necessary.

As for being late, district superintendent MaryEllen Elia said parents can rest assured that the bus will arrive on time Wednesday morning.  

"But we need to make sure that safety is uppermost," Elia said. "We don't want to rush and have something happen to one of our students."

Jerry Beniakrou, a student at Middleton High, said he was disappointed that the bus made him late for class.

"I was looking forward to being on time because this was my first day," Beniakrou said.

Out of some 200,000 students who returned to class from the summer recess, an additional 4,000 are estimated to be added into the system from last year's total.

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