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School bus to blame in crash, 4 injured | News

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School bus to blame in crash, 4 injured
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SPRING HILL, Fla. -- The Florida Highway Patrol blames a school bus driver for a crash that sent four people to the hospital Tuesday afternoon.

Photo Gallery: School Bus Overturned

The accident happened in Northern Pasco County at the intersection of Monteverde Drive and Bosley Road just before 3 p.m. FHP says the school bus was heading south down Monteverde and ran through the stop sign at Bosley Road.

51-year-old Julie Black was driving her Buick through the intersection at that time, but Black did not have a stop sign. The bus driver, 68-year-old Raymond Lucas, ran a stop sign, hitting the Buick and flipping the bus. Officers cited Lucas for violating a traffic control device.

Pasco Schools Superintendent Heather Fiorentino rushed to the crash scene at the end of the district's 2nd day of school. "It's a difficult day any day you have a bus accident," Fiorentino said. "We're happy our students are safe. We're praying for the individual in the car."

Paramedics rushed Julie Black to Bayfront Medical Center in a helicopter with what police called serious injuries.

Ryan Smith heard the crash from his front yard. "It sounded like a grenade explosion!"

Witnesses saw, and police confirmed, the bus blew through a stop sign, but investigators aren't saying yet how fast the bus may have been going. The speed limit on Monteverde is 30 MPH.

Sky 10 flew overhead, showing just how far both vehicles spun and flipped after colliding.

Along with the bus driver, Marchman Technical student 17-year-old Jalina England and her 2-and-a-half month-old daughter Malina were onboard the bus. Fortunately, everyone had on a seatbelt, and the newborn was in a car seat. The three only had minor injuries.

After leaving the hospital, Jalina wrote on Facebook, "I was just in a bus accident a few hours ago, but I'm all fine and I'm home now. Yay."

However, there were no cheers for the bus driver, Raymond Lucas. Florida Highway Patrol will be investigating why he ignored a stop sign, causing all this.

Sgt. Steve Gaskins with FHP told us, "It's a good reminder, especially now that school's back in session... It's a reminder that everybody needs to pay attention to their surroundings, watch out for traffic signs."

Pasco Schools Superintendent Heather Fiorentino wouldn't comment on the bus driver's actions, saying she wanted to review the final FHP report.

A 10 News background check revealed no prior traffic accidents for Raymond Lucas.

Follow 10News Reporter Chase Cain on Twitter @chase_cain

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