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Two Charter Buses in Crash sending 34 to Hospital in Polk County

Two charter buses taking students to Orlando on a field trip collided with each other injuring 34 of the 91 occupants of the buses. The Florida Highway Patrol says the buses were following a truck that was pulling a trailer that had no operating break lights, and when the trailer slowed to turn into a driveway, the driver of the closest bus didn’t notice the turn and slammed on brakes.

The second bus driver was unable to slow in time and hit the bus in front of it. In all, 34 occupants from both buses were sent to the hospital, and the rest were taken to a fire station to wait for additional buses to take them on their way.

The accident happened around 10:15 a.m., Friday May 17, 2019, in the area of Rockridge Road and Dean Still Road north of Polk City. The students were all from Pepin Academies Pasco Campus located in Port Richey and were headed to a medieval festival in Kissimmee for a field trip. Most of the injuries were minor with a few being moderate of the 34 injured, three were adults who were chaperoning the trip. The driver of the pickup was cited with defective equipment and one of the drivers of the buses was charged with careless driving.

Bus Accidents

Each year around 137,000 people are injured and 135 people die in school bus-related incidents with only 6 or 7 of those fatalities being students who were riding in the bus. Others include kids being hit outside the bus and occupants of other vehicles that collide with a bus.

Thankfully, this makes it a statistical rarity that a student gets killed riding in a bus. The reason is the size and weight of the bus. A bus weighs around 30,000 lbs which outweighs the average passenger car by a factor of 10. Thus when a car hits a school bus, most of the damage is done to the car and the students inside are usually protected by the bulk of the bus.

Bus Accident Injuries

The vast majority of the 137,000 injuries for bus occupants each year are minor, but some can be moderate to serious. Most school buses and private charter buses don’t have seatbelts, so many of the injuries are a result of being tossed around inside the vehicle. These are some common injuries in a school bus crash:

  • Head Trauma: From hitting the seat in front of the person.
  • Broken limbs: Broken arms and legs happen when a person is thrown into the seat or bulwark in front of them.
  • Deep Contusion: The impact can cause deep bruising which can be painful and take time to heal.
  • Lacerations: Broken glass, twisted metal can cause deep cuts and serious injury when a school bus crashes.

Do I need an Attorney?

If you’ve been injured in a school bus, charter bus or HART bus accident, then you should talk to an attorney about your case before you speak to anyone form the insurance company. Call RHINO Lawyers today to talk to an attorney in a free consultation where you can have your case evaluated by an expert.

RHINO Lawyers is the powerful, results-driven law firm, that takes Insurance Companies and Bullies “head on!” We describe our bold modern approach to “Accident & Personal Injury Law” and “Our Personal Mission” to empower Florida’s families to “Take Charge!”


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Rhino Lawyers, Personal Injury Lawyer, Tampa, FL


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