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School bus, van collide head-on

Six Lakeland elementary school pupils were taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center on Friday after their bus was struck head-on by a van south of Lakeland.

None of the students sustained major injuries, and all were released after an examination, a Polk County School Board official said.

The van's driver, whose identity was not released Friday by the Florida Highway Patrol, was reported in serious condition when he was taken from the crash site.

The bus driver, whose identity was not released by school officials, was treated at Lakeland Regional for a stiff neck and released, said Arby Creach, Polk County schools' transportation supervisor.

Creach said the bus had minor damage, while the Ford van that struck the bus in the curve on Yates Road just north of Ewell Road was severely damaged.

The bus, carrying 34 pupils from Medulla Elementary School who are in kindergarten through fifth grade, was heading north on Yates about 3:10 p.m. The van was heading south, troopers said.

As the bus entered the curve, troopers said, the van was in the northbound lane trying to pass a parked truck. The van and bus collided.

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