2 drivers suspended after St. Johns County school buses crash

FHP says 2 students hospitalized with minor injuries

By Jenese Harris - Reporter/anchor, Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor

WORLD GOLF VILLAGE, Fla. - Both school bus drivers involved in a three-vehicle crash Monday afternoon on International Golf Parkway were suspended by the St. Johns County School District, News4Jax has learned.

Two Pacetti Bay Middle School students were hospitalized with minor injuries after two buses were involved in a crash with a car just east of Interstate 95 about 2:20 p.m. Monday, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

St. Johns County Fire-Rescue evaluated 13 students and took two to Baptist South. 

The Florida Highway Patrol said a bus driven by Richard Shellenbach, 62, slowed quickly trying to avoid hitting a Ford Escape on IGP near Center Place Way when it was struck from behind by the second bus, driven by Cherie Jahnke, 61. The impact pushed the first bus into the SUV.

School officials said Shellenbach drove 6 miles away from the scene, dropping off students, but then called his supervisor to say he smelled burning rubber. That was because the crash bent the fender into one of the tires. 

The supervisor met the bus and had it return to the scene.

Troopers said about 45 students combined were on the two buses at the time of the crash.

Both Shellenbach, of St. Augustine, and Jahnke, of Palm Coast, have been suspended with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

Jahnke was cited for careless driving. Troopers did not cite Shellenbach for leaving the scene, because they said there was no criminal intent.

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