Fatal St. Lucie School Bus Accident Investigation Handed Over to State Attorney’s Office

The State Attorney’s office will begin its investigation into a St. Lucie school bus accident. It just received findings from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) and will be looking to decide if the 56-year-old St. Lucie County public school bus driver will be cited for a traffic offense or will be criminally charged.

According to The Palm Beach Post, accident reports indicate that the driver was inattentive when he attempted to make a left-hand turn right in front of a tractor-trailer. The collision killed an 8-year-old bus rider and injured 16 other students. There were about 30 students on the bus when the accident happened just before 4:00 p.m. on a March afternoon. The accident happened near Midway and Okeechobee roads.

Our St. Lucie child injury attorneys understand that regardless of whether you are dealing with a school district or a bus company that has won a contract to provide transportation services, everyone has an obligation to the safety of kids. We want to make sure that our students are provided with safe and reliable rides to and from school and other related events.

The St. Lucie accident happened as the bus was heading west on Okeechobee road and turned right in front on an oncoming tractor-trailer that was carrying sod. Upon impact, the bus spun around and the tractor-trailer flipped over. Students were transported to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach and treated for various injuries.

There was one student who was placed in a medically induced coma for a number of weeks because of the critical head injuries that he sustained.

Details of the report and of its findings won’t be released from the State Attorney’s office or from the FHP until the entire investigation is complete.

The 56-year-old driver is no longer working for the St. Lucie County School District.

Currently the School District of Palm Beach County has a fleet of 750 buses and transports approximately 60,000 students.

Bus Driver Safety Tips:

-Make sure that you inspect the vehicle before each and every run to look for mechanical defects.

-Be both dependable and reliable.

-Work to establish a positive relationship with your young drivers. You’re the first authority figure they run into every day. Help to make their day a bright one.

-Make sure all children are quietly seated while driving.

-Make sure children are safely off and away from the road before deactivating stop lights and signs and pulling away from a bus stop.

-Don’t let kids out of the bus until surrounding traffic has come to a complete stop.

-Check the bus after the last bus stop you make. Check for children and personal belongings that may have been left behind.

-Always be ready to act to an emergency and in the event of an accident.

-Keep your hands on the wheel and your mind on driving. Distractions should never make their way to the driver’s seat.