HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A truck driver is dead and several children were hospitalized after the truck crashed into a school bus Wednesday morning in Hernando County.
State troopers reported that 69-year-old Michael James Scott of Crystal River rear-ended the school bus while driving north on Commercial Way, also known as U.S. Highway 19.
The crash occurred at the intersection of Bourassa Boulevard and Commercial Way as the school bus was on its way to Winding Waters K-8 in Weeki Wachee. FHP reported that the school bus stopped at a crosswalk to allow a pedestrian to cross and Scott crashed into the rear of the bus.
Ten of the 48 children on board the school bus were transported to local hospitals for non-life-threatening injuries. Some children were driven by their parents; others by an ambulance.
“This is something no bus driver wants to happen. They take the care of the students seriously,” said school district spokeswoman Karen Jordan.
Jordan told 8 On Your Side that a “care team” is in place at Winding Waters to help anyone who needs it.
“It is very frightening,” Jordan said. “We certainly never want the words bus and accident to be something we have. We are certainly grateful our students and staff are going to be fine. We extend our thoughts to the family of the driver who hit the bus,” she said.
The school bus was equipped with student seatbelts, Jordan said.
Around 2 p.m. Wednesday, both vehicles were towed from the scene.
The crash remains under investigation. It’s unclear why Scott didn’t see the stopped bus.