11 students, driver taken to hospital in church school van crash

Several children suffer 'very minor injuries,' officials say

ORLANDO, Fla. – Eleven children and a driver were taken to local hospitals after a two-vehicle crash Monday in Orange County.

The crash was reported at 8:24 a.m. on Edgewater Drive at Forest City Road near Orlando.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the Bridge to Independence private school van was taking students to class, traveling by Edgewater Drive and Forest City Road, when the crash occurred. 

Troopers said Kevin Gonzalez, 24, of Orlando was driving an Infiniti Q35 and pulled directly in front of the van, damaging the front ends of both vehicles.

In total, 11 children and two adults were checked out, rescue officials said. The students ages ranged from 5 through 18. Gonzalez and the 70-year-old van driver were not hurt, according to the FHP.

"This is definitely not what we want to see for the beginning of their school year," Trooper Michael Allen said.

Staff from Edgewater Animal Hospital tended to the students until paramedics arrived, according to the FHP.

"They opened their doors to us to allow us to use their lobby as a medical triage area," said Mike Jachles, a first responder with Orange County Fire Rescue. "The injuries, fortunately, were very minor, ranging from bumps and bruises to bloody noses and mouths."

Officials said Gonzalez was ticketed.

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