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8 students hurt when van hits bus
The children were released without serious injuries. The van's driver is hospitalized.
By SARA ROSENBAUM and CASEY CORA, Times Staff Writers
Published December 14, 2007
Rescue workers had to remove the roof of this minivan to get the driver out after it hit a Hillsborough County school bus at in Valrico early Thursday morning, sending eight Mulrennan Middle School students and the van's driver to local hospitals.
VALRICO - Eight children were injured Thursday morning when a minivan slammed into the side of a school bus near Valrico and Durant roads, fire officials said.
The school bus, headed to Mulrennan Middle School in Valrico, was traveling north on Valrico Road when it was struck by a 2005 Toyota Sienna van headed east on Durant Road just before 8:30 a.m.
"It appears the van ran a stop sign," Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Capt. Bruce Delk said.
Sheriff's officials said there were 31 students on the bus. Those who complained of injuries were taken to Brandon Community Hospital.
All eight were released without serious injuries, said Mandy Ross, a Mulrennan Middle School administrator.
Hillsborough County schools spokewoman Linda Cobbe gave this account of the incident: Bus driver Tammy Roberts had stopped at a stop sign and was proceeding through the intersection when the minivan driver hit the front left side of the bus.
The van's driver, Jacob Binu, 33, of Valrico was flown to Tampa General Hospital.
The bus was equipped with seat belts, though it was not immediately known if all the passengers were using them.
Roberts, 42, of Thonotosassa has worked for the school district since 1992 and had no prior crashes, Cobbe said. Her Florida driving record lists no moving violations.
Counselors were at Mulrennan on Thursday to meet with the uninjured students.
Times staff writer Andrew Meacham contributed to this report. Sara Rosenbaum can be reached at 813 661-2442 or firstname.lastname@example.org