A rear-end crash involving a school bus sent 14 Armwood High School students to the hospital early Thursday, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.
The accident happened about 6:30 a.m., when a pickup truck slammed into the back of the bus on Mango Road near Bay Hills Circle in Thonotosassa.
The pickup truck driver, 16-year-old Logan Slanders of Thonotosassa, was going about 35 mph when he got distracted while leaning down to pick up a cup of coffee that had spilled, according to the Sheriff's Office said. Slanders, a Strawberry Crest High School student, looked back at the road but couldn't avoid the school bus that was stopped on southbound Mango Road.
The students and bus driver Darlene Bennett, 64, of Thonotosassa, were taken to Florida Hospital Tampa with minor injuries, deputies said. Six other students were not hurt. Slanders was treated for minor injuries at a walk-in clinic. He was charged with careless driving and not wearing a seat belt, the Sheriff's Office said.