Two buses crash at elementary school

Five kids are taken to the hospital while 14 have minor injuries.

By BEN MONTGOMERY, Times Staff Writer
Published September 22, 2007

RIVERVIEW - Rescue workers took five children to the hospital and treated 14 others for minor injuries after two school buses collided Friday afternoon in the rear parking lot at Frost Elementary School, a Hillsborough County Fire Rescue official said.

Though all injuries were called "very minor," the five who complained of neck or back pain were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

The crash involved one bus rear-ending another. Most of the injuries were bumps and bruises to the heads and faces of the children. The students were treated with ice packs and bandages at the school before they were released to their parents.

"Even at a low speed, kids get jostled," school district spokesman Stephen Hegarty said minutes after paramedics wheeled a child strapped to a stretcher to a waiting ambulance.

The wreck comes less than three weeks after another bus swerved off the road in Riverview, injuring 11 students.

Hegarty called two wrecks with injuries in the same month "very rare."

"We rarely have accidents that involve injuries," he said.

Asked what he would say to reassure parents that their children are being safely transported, he said: "If you're on a school bus, you're a lot safer than you are in a car."

The driver of the trailing bus, who officials said caused the crash, was Sandra Allen, 62. She was hired as a bus driver in November 1999.

Allen was involved in a September 1999 crash in which she was cited for failure to use due care and adjudication was withheld, state records show.

Staff writer Rebecca Catalanello contributed to this report. Ben Montgomery can be reached at bmontgomery@sptimes.com or 813 661-2443.