Bus driver cited in crash that sent 9 to hospital

Officials cite the bus driver with making an improper left turn.
Published July 15 2013
Updated July 16 2013

TAMPA — Nine people were hospitalized Monday when a county bus turned in front of a car and they collided, authorities said.

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit bus driven by Juan P. Washington, 48, of Riverview and a gray Volvo sedan driven by Johny Ngoc Giang, 20, of Tampa were involved in the crash around 2:30 p.m. on N 56th Street near Hillsborough Avenue, outside the entrance to the Netpark Tampa Bay business park.

Both drivers were injured, as were seven bus passengers. A Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokeswoman said 11 people were on the bus, including the driver.

According to the spokeswoman, the bus was heading south on 56th Street and turning into a park-and-ride center when it collided with the northbound Volvo. The crash sent the bus into a concrete sign.

Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Steve Gaskins said it appears Washington turned in front of oncoming traffic. Giang swerved but couldn't avoid a crash, he said.

Monday night, Gaskins said Washington was cited with making an improper left turn.

HART spokeswoman Sandra Morrison said Washington has been a bus driver for the county since December 2009. She said HART is conducting its own investigation and would not comment on Washington's driving history with the agency.

No one else was in the Volvo. Crews had to cut off the roof to extricate Giang.

The concrete sign was wedged at least 2 feet into the front of the driver's compartment of the bus, shattering the windshield and bending the doors.