MYAKKA CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – Troopers say a young woman tried to pass a school bus Thursday morning and slammed into a 14-year-old boy.
The teen was seriously hurt, but is expected to recover.
Just before 6:30 Thursday morning, a school bus stopped at the intersection of Verna Bethany Road and Gopher Hill Road in Myakka City.
The speed limit on the road is 55 miles per hour.
Troopers say the driver waved the children over to cross the street and board, but at that moment, 19-year-old Josee Martin was driving on the opposite lane. FHP says Martin tried to pass the bus, and ended up slamming into 14-year-old Gabriel Shimmin.
“Then I heard a big bang and I saw a child fly in the air and hit the ground,” said witness Lindsey McDaniel.
When witnesses ran over, Shimmin was passed out and badly hurt. His father was yelling, trying to get him to regain consciousness.
“I can’t imagine, I knew how bad I feel this morning. And I can’t imagine being in that family’s position,” said McDaniel.
Shimmin has serious lower body injuries and was transported to All Children’s Hospital.
Martin told deputies she did not know the bus had stopped.
“We can only assume that there was some type of distraction that caused the driver not to see the children and the school bus,” said FHP Trooper Kenn Watson.
8 On Your Side went to Martin’s house but a woman at the door did not wish to comment.
“It was roughly 6:24 in the morning, the sun is not yet out. It’s a very large bus, it is well lit. It has two stop signs with strobe lights on it as well as having everything engaged and its lights on, its headlights. Absolutely no reason why that driver should not have seen, noticed, everything that was going on,” said Watson.
Martin will be issued a citation and the school district is investigating whether changes are needed at the bus stop.
The boy is expected to recover.
“This should be a huge wake up call for everyone. These are our children, these are our friends and people in the community that we love,” said McDaniel.
Martin will have a mandatory court appearance.
The case is still under investigation.