Students in serious condition after semi-truck slams into Highlands school bus

LAKE PLACID, Fla. (WFLA) – Two students were seriously injured Wednesday when the bus they were on flipped over after being hit by a tractor-trailer.

The Florida Highway Patrol says the school bus was headed north on US-27 and stopped at Lake Ridge Drive to let students on the bus around 7:30 a.m. The driver had activated the flashing lights to warn other drivers that the bus was stopped.

According to the crash report, the semi was driving behind the bus and didn’t stop in time.

The truck slammed into the back of the bus, pushing it off the road and causing it to flip onto its side. Troopers say 39 students were on the bus when it was hit. Authorities tell News Channel 8 the students were middle school and high school age, and say the bus was headed to Lake Placid Middle School.

Two students, an 11-year-old boy and a 14-year-old boy, were flown to Tampa General Hospital with serious injuries.

Doctors from Florida Hospital Lake Placid say they treated 20 patients from the bus crash with injuries that were not considered life-threatening. All patients were treated and released.

“It could have been far worse,” hospital administrator Denise Grimsley said. “I believe there were 30 some-odd children on the bus, it could have been far worse. We could have had major casualties at the scene.”

“God was smiling on Highlands County today,” she added.

Both the driver of the school bus and the semi driver suffered minor injuries.

The semi-truck driver, 45-year-old Stanley Lockwood, was charged with careless driving.

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