90ºF

Woman arrested on DUI charge after Lynx bus slams into SR 408 overpass in Orlando

Bus driver trapped in bus for 90 minutes; 5 others taken to hospitals

ORLANDO, Fla. – A woman was arrested on DUI charges after a Lynx bus slammed into a highway overpass early Friday, trapping the bus driver for over an hour and injuring several others, police said.

Authorities said the driver and five others were injured in the crash, which happened around 2 a.m. on Westmoreland Drive at State Road 408 near Carter Drive.

According to Orlando police, Amanda Gilliland, 22, of Daytona Beach, ran a stop sign and crashed into the bus, which then slammed into the S.R. 408 overpass.

A witness told police they saw the Camry driving east on Carter Street with no headlights on and did not stop at the stop sign.

Witnesses and rescue crews rushed to help the bus driver, who was freed after about 90 minutes and taken to a hospital as a trauma alert patient.

According to the report, the driver’s lower body was crushed by the bus. Several passengers were bleeding outside the bus, police said.

He was identified Monday as 59-year-old Alireza Nahavandi.

“I tried to keep his mind off the negativity because he kept saying he was going to die,” a witness said. "I said, ‘You’re not going to die, just talk to me and stay with me and we’re going to ride this out together. I’m going to get you out of here.’”

According to Orlando fire officials, five other victims on the bus, one with serious injuries and the others with minor injuries, were taken to hospitals.

Video from the scene showed maintenance workers checking the damage to the overpass. After Florida Department of Transportation engineers examined the structure they determined it is structurally safe for travel, according to FDOT spokesman Steve Olson.

The bus was towed from the scene about six hours after the crash.

Gilliland was booked into the Orange County Jail on charges of DUI with serious bodily injuries.

No additional details have been released.


About the Author: