Sunday, May 20, 2018
Public safety

No injuries reported as school bus rolls over in Tampa

TAMPA — A school bus carrying two children was overturned in a crash Friday morning, but no injuries were reported, police said.

The crash was reported about 6 a.m. when the bus, headed east on E Palm Avenue, was hit by a 2004 Acura that ran a red light as it headed north on N Nebraska Avenue.

The bus continued another 50 feet before overturning in front of the Centro Asturiano de Tampa building, crushing part of a fence. One student was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital for evaluation, police said.

Derrick Ware, who lives a block away from the crash, heard a loud boom Friday morning and walked outside to see what caused the noise. That's when he saw the overturned bus. The driver inside was screaming for the kids, and Ware pulled the driver out.

Just before 8 a.m., the bus and car were cleared from the scene and Palm Avenue was reopened.

The bus was headed to Morgan Woods Elementary School at 7001 Armand Drive. The children inside were two brothers, ages 8 and 10, who attend first and fourth grade at the school. The bus driver was identified as Darlyn Prevatte, 57. She was hired by the school district in 2008, said Hillsborough schools spokesman Stephen Hegarty.

Hillsborough schools superintendent MaryEllen Elia stopped by the scene Friday morning. She said a driver, student aide, and two students were inside.

"Four people walked away from that accident," she said. "A miracle."

Three tow trucks were on scene Friday morning to clear the vehicles out of the way.

Paulette Harper-Tavares, 64, was the driver in the light blue 4-door Acura. She was headed to work when the crash happened.

On Friday morning, she stood at the curb on Palm, holding a book, two bags and a coffee thermos. She watched as the Acura, its front mangled metal, was towed away. Bandages covered her right arm.

"My arm was hurting. My back is tight," she said. "But I'm just lucky that I'm okay and I'm just lucky the kids are okay."

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