Students recall Plant City school bus crash

11:00 PM, May 17, 2013   |    comments
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Plant City, Florida - Several people were injured and one killed when a pickup truck plowed into a school bus and caused it to flip over in Plant City on Friday afternoon.

"I was sitting behind the bus driver and then from the other side the car hit us," said Jazmin Minjares.

Minjares told 10 News moments after being released from the hospital that she blacked out when the school bus flipped on its side Friday afternoon.

Two other Plant City High School students and a bus driver were inside when the bus was t-boned by a 2001 Ford Pickup truck at the intersection of Sam Allen Road and Wilder Road.

The impact sent the students bouncing around inside like a ball in a tin can.

"I flew to (one) side and the other side of the bus," recounts Minjares.

She was just two minutes from her home and getting ready to get off the bus when it happened.

"I was checking for my key and that's when I heard the big bang."

When she came to, she grabbed her book bag and crawled out of the emergency exit door.

Her mother arrived on the scene shortly after being contacted by the school.

"(While) walking up to the scene ... seeing the bus flipped, police officers and ambulance and everything. It was really scary," said Minjares.

Investigators say the driver of the pickup, James Allen Flint, ran a stop sign and was killed on impact.

"Striking the school bus on the side causing it to flip over onto its side and then spin about 90 degrees where it came to rest under a tree," said Lt. Donald Morris.

All three students taken to South Florida Baptist Hospital to be treated for minor injured suffered in the crash.

The bus driver was treated on the scene and was later picked up by a Hillsborough Co. School District official.

Blood was taken from the yet to be identified bus driver, but investigators say there is no indication she was under the influence of any alcohol or drugs.

The medical examiner said it will perform a blood alcohol test of the 65-year-old driver of the pickup truck during an autopsy.

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