Students jump from out of control school bus after crash with a semi

January 6th, 2012 by Staff – Bradenton, Florida — A crash between a Manatee County School bus and a Walmart semi truck left 23 people with minor injuries Thursday, including 21 students from Braden River Middle School transported to local hospitals.

The crash happened around 4:15 in the afternoon on busy S.R. 64 just west of I-75 in front of the Walmart.

According to investigators with the Florida Highway Patrol, the school bus driven by 68-year-old Charles Orr, of Palmetto, failed to stop slamming into the back of the semi.

The impact was so strong, the driver’s leg became pinned and he was unable to reach the brakes.

Troopers say with the bus still moving, students began jumping out of the emergency exit door while a witness jumped onto the bus and helped hit the brakes.

Emergency crews arrived and began transporting patients to three local hospitals with minor injuries and some possible broken bones.

“We had a lot of kids and not enough ambulances,” said Deputy Chief Lee Whitehurst of East Manatee Fire Rescue. “We had ambulances that were going to the hospital dropping off their patients and coming back. ”

Students that were not badly injured were transported to the hospital on a second school bus as a precaution.

The driver of the Walmart truck also had minor injuries.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the crash but said the bus driver will be charged with careless driving. Investigators are reviewing the bus GPS data and onboard video to try and better determine exactly what happened.

One Response

  1. Jeremy Hardwick

    A 68 yr old bus driver…Should the county allow a person this old to transport our kids?

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