Florida & polk county , winter haven news

34 Students & 3 Adults Injured In Charter Bus Crash On Rockridge Rd. In Lakeland

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Lakeland, Florida – According to the Florida Highway Patrol three vehicles were traveling northbound on Rockridge Rd. in Lakeland. The first vehicle was a pickup truck and it was followed by two charter school buses from Pepin Academy. The buses operated by Support The Arts Foundation, Inc. were transporting a total of 91 students and 7 adults from Pepin Academy. The accident occurred when the first vehicle a 2007 Ford 150 pickup truck driven by Steven Collins, 43 of Lakeland, hauling a trailer, slowed down to turn into a driveway. The trailer however being towed had inoperable lights. The first charter bus driven by Christopher Gasque, 53 of Zephyrhills, had to brake suddenly to avoid hitting the trailer. The second charter bus driven by Michael Stuckey, 56 of Tampa, was unable to stop and collided with the rear of the first charter bus.

Of the 91 students that were on board a total of 32 were transported to the hospital with minor injuries. Three of the 7 adults were also transported for minor injuries. The accident is still under investigation, but no charges have been reported at this time.