Ten children were injured in an accident involving a school bus heading to Bennett Russell Elementary School Monday morning.
The accident happened at around 8:10 a.m. in front of the Bealls on Highway 90 in Milton.
According to Milton Police officer Mark Tinnirella, the bus (#624) was stopped for the red light at Highway 90 and Parkmore Plaza Drive. The officer said that when the bus was stationary, a child came up to talk to the bus driver, and the driver became distracted.
That was when the driver saw traffic moving and started to drive, not realizing that the traffic had stopped again after accelerating.
The bus then rear-ended an SUV in front of it. The collision sent the driver of the SUV, a female, to the hospital.
The scene reduced traffic in the west lanes of Highway 90 down to one lane for about an hour during the incident while medical personnel attended to the children on board.
All of the children that were injured were sent to Santa Rosa Medical Center for further evaluation.
The incident was the second bus accident involving a Santa Rosa County Durham school bus driver since the start of the school year three weeks ago.
The last bus accident involved a motorcycle striking a school bus on Highway 90 in Pace. The bus was attempting to cross Highway 90 from Sports Drive in Pace when it crossed the path of a motorcyclist.
The biker sustained serious injuries.ï¿½
The bus had an accident free driver license plate for 2009-10. The plate indicates that the driver was not involved in any accident for that school year.
According to Bob Downin, general manager for Durham School Services for the Santa Rosa County School System, the school district reviews all accidents involving school buses and retrains employees after accidents. Downin told the Press Gazette this during the last school bus incident. He did not return phone calls as of press time.
Durham operates more than 12,000 school buses and serves over 300 school districts in 29 states across the country.
Jud Crane, the Santa Rosa County School district’s director of purchasing and contract administration was at the hospital with the injured children shortly after the incident and referred the Press Gazette to Durham School Bus Services for comment. No one was available at Durham for comment.