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Charter bus crash in Polk County sends over 30 students to hospital, officials say

Posted: 1:01 PM, May 17, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-20 06:43:03Z
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POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Over 30 students were taken to Polk County area hospitals after a charter bus crash on Friday morning, according to Polk County Fire Rescue.

Pepin Academy says 91 students and 15 staff members from their Pasco County campus were on two buses going to Orlando for a field trip when the crash happened. FHP says it happened around 10 a.m. near the intersection of Rockridge Road and Dean Still Road in Polk County.

Polk County Fire Rescue says 34 students were taken to the hospital by a Polk County school bus for treatment of minor injuries. Two additional students were taken to the hospital by Polk Fire Rescue for treatment of minor injuries.

Three teachers were also impacted by the crash, officials say.

According to FHP, the buses were behind a Ford F-150 pulling a trailer when the crash happened. The driver of the truck stopped to turn into a driveway, but FHP says the break lights on the trailer didn't work so the driver of the bus was unable to tell the truck was stopping. The bus driver slammed on their brakes and the second bus crashed into the first one, FHP says.

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The driver of the truck was cited for improper/defective equipment and the driver of the first bus was cited for careless driving, according to FHP.

Pepin Academy announced Friday evening, around 6:30 p.m. that all the students and staff treated were resting at home.

Polk County Public Schools deployed school buses to transport impacted students and staff to a local fire station, Pepin Academy says.

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