4 hurt after school bus flips in crash with tractor-trailer in Sebastian

PHOTO BY KAILA JONES

Update: County Road 512 reopened late Thursday after being closed for several hours following a crash involving a school bus and a tractor-trailer.

Earlier story:

SEBASTIAN — Four people were hurt – including three students – after a school bus flipped on its side during a collision with a tractor-trailer Thursday, police said.

The bus was carrying 17 students at the time of the crash, Sebastian Police Cpt. Tim Wood said.

Wood said the tractor-trailer driver and three students on the bus were taken to area hospitals. One of the students, a 14-year-old boy, was flown to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach with serious, but non-life threatening injuries, said School District of Indian River County spokesperson Cristen Maddux and Florida Highway Patrol spokesperson Lt. Yanko Reyes.

The other two students – whose ages and genders were not available – were taken to Sebastian River Medical Center with minor injuries, Reyes said.

All students were discharged from the hospitals by 7 p.m., Maddux said. Reyes said charges are pending as the crash investigation continues.

“We are very thankful for the response of our bus driver, students, law enforcement, and passerby’s who acted quickly and calmly to control the accident scene and ensure the students’ safety. The response to the accident was a clear indication of how our community cares for one another, and comes together when there is a crisis,” Maddux said in a statement.

“We will continue to stay in communication and provide support to the families of our three students (who were hurt in the crash.) Our crisis response team will be at the location of the summer camp tomorrow morning to support students and families who were involved in this accident.”

Wood said the crash happened about 2:30 p.m. in the 200 block of C.R. 512, also known as Sebastian Boulevard. The wreck happened down the road from Sebastian Plaza and the Ashbury Community.

Maddux said the school bus driver had just picked up students who were attending a “mathletes” summer camp at Storm Grove Middle School. The School District of Indian River County bus and the tractor-trailer were both headed westbound on C.R. 512 when the two vehicles collided.

Reyes said the tractor-trailer was in the right lane and the school bus was in the left lane moments before the wreck. Reyes said the tractor-trailer driver made an improper lane change from the right lane to the left lane.

The tractor-trailer struck the right side of the school bus. Reyes said the impact caused the bus to swerve to the left, rotate counter clockwise and flip on its right side.

Wood said all of the students and the bus driver were already out of the bus when first responders arrived.

Maddux said all school district buses have seat belts. It was unclear if all the students were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.

The tractor-trailer belongs to Sysco Southeast Florida LLC, a food products supplier.

Police closed C.R. 512 in the immediate area for several hours, causing traffic delays.

Several police cars, Indian River County Fire Rescue trucks and a tow truck could be seen at the crash site. Officers put up crime scene tape around the tractor-trailer, which had moderate damage to its front bumper.

The extent of damage to the school bus was not available.

The remaining students were taken to Church at the Cross, 50 S. Wimbrow Drive, and picked up by their parents. FHP continues to investigate the wreck.

No further details were immediately available.

Photos by Kaila Jones and Nick Samuel

This story will be updated. 

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