A Florida bus accident injured at least 25 middle school students and killed the driver of a car in Palm Coast, Florida on January 7. The accident also injured two adults and sent parents scrambling to learn if their children had been injured in the accident.
The bus was traveling on Whiteview Parkway at Ravenwood Drive in the early morning hours. Law enforcement officials say a Mazda was trying to turn left onto Ravenwood Drive when it was rear-ended by a Subaru station wagon, driven by 19-year-old Brian Szmitko of Palm Coast. The accident pushed the Mazda into oncoming traffic, and the Mazda collided head-on with the bus. The driver of the Mazda, 23-year-old Elisa Marie Amber Homan, was seriously injured in the accident and was transported to an area hospital. She was pronounced dead four days after the accident. Szmitko was not injured in the accident.
The accident strained emergency services in the area. As a result, an incident command center was established at the scene of the accident. The bus was carrying 42 school children, and around two-dozen of them were injured in the accident. Law enforcement officials wanted to transport all of the injured children to the hospital for examination. The driver of the bus suffered minor injuries in the accident but remained calm after the incident. He played a critical role in gathering the children together after the accident and making sure everyone was safe. Every ambulance in Flagler County was sent to the scene, which took the injured children to the local hospital. The school district made arrangements to transport the non-injured children to their homes.
Twelve students were released from the hospital shortly after the accident with minor injuries, but several were still at the hospital following the accident.
Law enforcement officials said the accident is under investigation and charges could be filed in the case. It’s unclear what charges would be filed in the case, as Florida’s court have sent conflicting precedents on rear-end accidents in recent years. Traditionally, the person at the back of a rear-end accident was at fault, but the court has said that might not be the case if the driver in the front was texting or was otherwise distracted from driving.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Florida bus accident, contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. immediately at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) for a free initial consultation.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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