Just after 8:00 am this morning, October 27, 2011, a school bus carrying approximately 25 students to Zellwood Elementary was unexpectedly rear-ended by a Lynx bus. The accident happened on Orange Blossom Trail near Plymouth Sorrento Road. Seven individuals were reported injured, four or five of them students. The injuries were minor, but several students were sent to the hospital. It is also reported that two adult passengers on the Lynx bus were injured as well as the driver. A source from the Orange County Fire Department reports that a total of six individuals were sent to hospitals with two going to Orlando Regional Medical Center and four to Florida Hospital - Apopka.
The school bus was stopped at OBT and Neal Sibert Drive with students actively boarding the bus when Raymond Mieles, the driver of the Lynx bus, slammed into the back of it. An on-board camera shows that the bus had its flashing lights on and stop sign extended, but Mr. Mieles failed to see the stopped bus in time to avoid a collision. Deborah Duda, the principal from Zellwood, arrived at the scene of the accident to identify which children were on the bus and notify their parents. Some of the students' parents picked them up from the crash site and took them home or drove them to school. A new bus was brought in to transport the rest of the students.
Mr. Mieles could offer no reason to the troopers at the scene for why he hit the bus. He will receive a citation for careless driving and charges against him are pending. The school bus suffered minor damage but the Lynx bus sustained severe front-end damage. There is no word yet on the cost to repair both public transportation vehicles.
School bus accidents can be serious and potentially very dangerous to the children who ride them everyday. An Orlando attorney who deals with Lynx or School Bus cases can be critical in the evaluation and investigation of these claims. Call 407-228-3838 to speak to a lawyer if you your child has been injured in a school bus accident.