HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — One man was killed and multiple children were hospitalized after a pickup truck rear-ended a school bus on Wednesday in Hernando County.
While the circumstances surrounding the school bus-related crash are not unusual, the statistics behind school bus crashes are alarming.
Out of more than 317,994 fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes that happened between 2008 and 2017, at least 1,110 — or 0.4 percent— were classified as school transportation-related. Fifty-two percent of school bus-related crashes during those years occurred in rural areas, similar to the area in Brooksville where Wednesday’s fatal crash happened.
Florida claimed five percent of all school bus-related deaths in 2018 leaving. Those crashes left six people dead, according to the National Safety Council.
While that number seems minor in comparison to the estimated 471,461 yellow school buses that are in service daily in the United States, those fatalities are especially tragic when they involve children on their way to get an education.
Similar to Wednesday morning’s crash, about 70 percent of the deaths in school bus-related crashes were occupants of vehicles other than the school bus, the NHTSA reports.
The Florida Highway Patrol said the 69-year-old driver of the pickup truck involved in Wednesday’s crash failed to stop when the school bus did.
“This is something no bus driver wants to happen. They take the care of the students seriously,” said Hernando County School District spokeswoman Karen Jordan. “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.”
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