LARGO — A former public bus driver will spend nearly a year in jail for crashing his bus into a St. Petersburg check cashing store in 2007 while he was under the influence of prescription drugs.
A judge on Thursday sentenced Travis Merriex, 39, to 364 days in jail. The sentence also counts toward two other charges that Merriex tried to illegally obtain prescription drugs in 2008.
In September 2007, Merriex drove his PSTA bus into a curb, cars, trees and a light pole before plowing into Amscot, 3266 Central Ave. James Westerhoff was pinned between two cars and had to be extracted by six men. He broke his ankle and was covered in bruises.
Blood tests revealed Methadone, Alprazolam and Lorazepam in Merriex's system, drugs he told police were for a back injury
Judge Thane Covert also ordered Merriex to perform 50 hours of community service and revoked his driver's license.