Student hurt in DeLand crash involving school bus, school officials say

Troopers: 14 students were riding bus; Driver of car in crash hospitalized in critical condition

By Michelle Dendy - Web Editor

DeLAND, Fla. - A student was taken to the hospital Friday after a crash involving a school bus, a car and a semi-truck, school officials say.

The crash was reported at Paradise Drive and New York Avenue in DeLand around 2:15 p.m. Friday, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers said a semi-truck driven by Jorge Ruiz, 31, was traveling eastbound on New York Avenue. A 2007 Toyota driven by a 37-year-old man was traveling in front of the semi-truck.

A school bus from Woodward Avenue Elementary with 14 students on board, driven by 56-year-old Cynthia Harrison, had stopped westbound on New York Avenue and Paradise Drive to offload students, according to FHP.

Troopers said the Toyota had stopped for the bus. However, the semi-truck was unable to stop in time, causing it to strike the back of the Toyota.

The Toyota then pushed across the travel lanes and into the path of the school bus. Troopers said the rear side of the Toyota struck the front of the bus.

Two students from the bus suffered minor injuries and one was taken to the hospital, according to FHP. A girl in the second grade was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, according to an official with Volusia County Public Schools.

The driver of the Toyota, who wasn't identified by FHP, was taken to Halifax Medical Center in critical condition. Ruiz and Harrison also suffered minor injuries.

Troopers said alcohol did not play a role in the crash. Ruiz, Harrison and the driver of the Toyota were wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.

Parents picked up students where the accident occurred. Officials said the school bus was going to be towed.

The Florida Highway Patrol closed westbound traffic on New York Avenue.

The crash remains under investigation. Troopers said charges are pending.

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