ST. PETERSBURG — A Pinellas County school bus rear-ended a car Monday morning, sending three people, including two elementary school students, to a hospital.
It happened about 8:30 a.m. when a car on 54th Avenue S yielded to a lights-and-sirens blaring St. Petersburg Fire Rescue truck approaching at the 31st Street intersection. The car stopped; the bus didn't, smashing into the back of the car. Firefighters had to use a hydraulic tool to free the car's driver, Nathaniel Andrews, 62, authorities say.
Bus driver Linden Brown, 41, was cited with careless driving, police said. The paramedics, who were headed to another medical call, stopped to help. Another unit was dispatched to their medical call.
Andrews, who complained of neck and back pain, was taken to Bayfront Medical Center. Two children were taken to All Children's Hospital: a 7-year-old who complained of leg pain, and a 10-year-old who had trouble breathing because of asthma.
"People need to be aware at intersections for possible responding emergency vehicles and yield to them," said St. Petersburg Fire Rescue Lt. Joel Granata. "The first car did, the second one didn't."
Brown was given drug and alcohol tests after the accident, which is routine after accidents like this, said Pinellas schools spokeswoman Andrea Zahn. He also has been temporarily removed from bus-driving duties until the school's staff reviews the accident.
Brown was hired in 1996, Zahn said, and has never been disciplined for an accident. He has been involved in a few incidents such as a minor accident involving a loose manhole cover, but none that caused the school board to reprimand him.