School bus crashes in Southside, minor injuries

41 students on board bus; 4 teens hurt

Author: Melanie Lawson, The Morning Show anchor, reporter, mlawson@wjxt.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:40:18 AM EST   Updated On: Aug 20 2013 06:10:00 PM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Four people were treated for minor injuries after a bus collided with a car Tuesday morning in a Woodland Acres intersection.

The bus carrying 41 students to Terry Parker High School struck the car in the intersection of Lamson Street and Galveston Avenue around 7 a.m.

"All I heard was a boom and my head hit the seat, and my leg hit the seat, too," said senior Shanel Dorrell. "(The driver) said 'Everybody stay on the bus.'"

Two teens were in the car were heading to Englewood High School.  Video recorded by a homeowner shows the car pulled in front of the bus.

Police say the driver of the car, who has not been named, was cited for failing to stop at a stop sign.  Witnesses say the bus may have been exceeding the 30 mph speed limit on Galveston Avenue.

Four people were treated for injuries, according to Jacksonville Fire-Rescue spokesman Tom Francis. Two teens who were riding the bus and both teens in the car were hospitalized with minor injuries.

"I thought somebody was killed, to be honest with you," said Robert Willis. "Look at that car. They should have been killed. They come through here 60 mph and never stop. If you don't believe it, come here one day and sit here and watch. They don't slow down. Something's going to have to be done."

Willis lives right across the street from where the crash happened. He said speeding has been an issue in that area for a while and said every couple of months there's either a crash or someone runs into the fence in his yard, which is what prompted him to put up the surveillance camera to record traffic in the intersection.

A spokesman for Student Transportation of America, which operates the bus under contract for Duval County Schools, said the driver, who was also not name, was suspended pending the outcome of its investigation.

"We are gathering all of the facts in this accident. Who is at fault will come out in this investigation," the company said in a statement.  "We are thankful that there were no serious injuries to the students and bus driver involved in this morning’s accident."

While we don't know the driver's name, Channel 4 did learn she has two traffic citations in Florida -- one in 1989 for speeding and another in 2003 for making an improper turn.

Willis, whose camera recorded the crash (seen, left), said something needs to be done to make traffic through his intersection obey the law.

"If there's a speed bump out there, unless your an idiot, you're going to slow down, so you have time to stop," said Willis. "Nothing slows them down and they come on through."