Advertisement
  1. News

Bus collision in Polk leaves students from Pasco Pepin Academies with minor injuries

The Florida Highway Patrol says this charter bus carrying students from Pasco County was involved in a collision on Friday. [Florida Highway Patrol]
Published May 17

LAKELAND — Two charter buses carrying students with disabilities from Pasco County collided Friday morning, sending 34 to a hospital with minor injuries, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The buses collided around the intersection of Rockridge and Dean Still roads in Lakeland at about 10:10 a.m., troopers said. They carried 91 children from Pepin Academies, troopers said, as well as seven adults.

The Highway Patrol gave this account:

The two late-'90s MCI buses were headed north on Rockridge Road, south of Deen Still Road, behind a 2007 Ford F-150.

Steven Collins, 43, of Lakeland was driving the Ford, which was towing a trailer.

Collins slowed to turn into a driveway, troopers said, but the trailer had defective lights.

Christopher Gasque, 53, the driver of the first bus, couldn't tell that the truck was slowing until too late and braked suddenly, troopers said.

The driver of the second bus, Michaela Stuckey, 56, didn't stop in time and drove into the rear of Gasque's bus, troopers said.

The injured students and three adults were taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center.

Pepin Academies serves students with learning- and learning-related disabilities.

Stuckey was cited for careless driving and Collins was cited for the defective lights, troopers said. The buses were operated by Support the Arts Foundation, based in Odessa, troopers said.

Contact Justin Trombly at jtrombly@tampabay.com. Follow @JustinTrombly.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. In this file photo, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister is announcing arrests in a sting operation that targeted unlicensed contractors. [Times (2018)]
    Monday morning, Sheriff Chad Chronister will announce the results.
  2. Buccaneers fan Heather Chase, of Tampa, is surrounded by Saints fans during the first quarter of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, November 17, 2019, in Tampa. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The Bucs saw a larger crowd Sunday for their 34-17 loss to New Orleans Saints, but largely because of Saints fans.
  3. The man, 57, died at the scene.
  4. Hillsborough County deputies are seeking a man and woman suspected of using a stolen credit card. They are shown here in screenshots taken from surveillance video at a Walmart in Seffner, one of six stores where the credit card was used. Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
    Surveillance video shows two people leaving a Walmart in Seffner with a shopping cart full of merchandise.
  5. Sally Carlson of Seminole talks to her newly adopted 5-year-old miniature poodle held by Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center volunteer Mary Claire Streator. Potential owners browsed some of the 300 puppies that were put up for adoption Sunday in the gymnasium at All People's Life Center in Tampa. The designer-breed dogs had been rescued from Trish's All Breeds Pet Grooming in Tampa, where they were found sick and malnourished. Prospective owners were chosen out of thousands who applied during a lottery-type system and were able pick out a dog. LUIS SANTANA   |   TIMES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The animals were found in deplorable conditions at a grooming business in September. Their new owners had 15 minutes to make a selection.
  6. People hug each other during a vigil Thursday after a 16-year-old student shot several classmates then himself in the quad area of Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, Calif. Another vigil is planned for Sunday evening. HANS GUTKNECHT  |  AP
    The two students were killed Thursday after a 16-year-old began shooting randomly at Saugus High School.
  7. Pasco County community news TMCCARTY80  |  Tara McCarty
    News and notes from Pasco County
  8. Hernando County community news Tara McCarty
    That and other news from Hernando County
  9. FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2019, file photo, Donald Trump Jr. speaks before the arrival of President Donald Trump at a campaign rally at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File) JOHN MINCHILLO  |  AP
    University of Florida student body president Michael Murphy received a resolution for his impeachment Tuesday. Then the state’s Republican Party started an online petition and fundraiser.
  10. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. TMCCARTY  |  times staff
    The driver faces charges of driving under the influence and refusal to submit to testing.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement