Driver of Bus Carrying Tampa Students Cited After Crash
FHP troopers said 34 children suffered minor injuries as did three adults.
POLK COUNTY – The driver of a charter bus carrying students from Tampa’s Pepin Academy was cited after a crash Friday that injured 34 children, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
The children, who suffered minor injuries, were taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center. Three adults were also taken to Lakeland Medical Center for treatment.
Michaela Stuckey, 56, of Tampa, the driver of one of the buses involved in the crash, suffered minor injuries but was not taken to a hospital. Troopers said Stuckey was cited for careless driving.
Christopher Gasque, 53, of Zephyrhills, the driver of a second charter bus involved in the crash, also suffered minor injuries but was not taken to a hospital.
The third driver involved in the crash, Steven Collins, 43, of Lakeland, was not injured. Collins was cited for improper/defective equipment, troopers said.
The crash happened about 10:10 a.m. in the northbound lane of Rockridge Road south of Deen Still Road in Polk County.
Stuckey and Gasque were driving charter buses operated by Support the Arts Foundation, which is based in Odessa. The buses were transporting 91 children from Tampa’s Pepin Academy and seven adults. The buses were traveling north on Rockridge when a 2007 Ford F150 that was towing a trailer slowed to turn into a driveway.
Because the trailer had defective lights, troopers said Gasque was unable to tell the trailer was slowing. Gasque braked suddenly to avoid hitting the trailer. Stuckey was unable to stop as quickly and hit the rear of the bus that Gasque was driving.
Photos courtesy of the Florida Highway Patrol.
Florida Highway Patrol | Bus Crash | Rockridge Road Crash | Tampabay News
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