Pasco students hospitalized after Polk bus crash

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Two buses headed for an Orlando-area field trip collided in rural Polk County this, injuring several students and adults.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash involved two charter buses in the area of Rockridge Road and Dean Still Road, just south of the Green Swamp. 

The buses were behind a pickup truck that was pulling a trailer. The pickup slowed to turn into a driveway, but troopers say the trailer’s brake lights were inoperative. By the time the first bus driver noticed the pickup was slowing, he was forced to slam on the brakes. The following bus was unable to stop in time and slammed into the first bus.

The 91 students and seven adults on board the buses were all from Pepin Academies' Pasco campus. Troopers say 34 students were hospitalized with minor injuries, along with three adults.

Polk County school buses picked up the remaining students and took them to a fire station until other Pepin buses could arrive.

One bus driver was cited for careless driving; the pickup truck driver was cited for having defective equipment.

The buses were originally headed to Medieval Times in Kissimmee for a field trip, according to a parent.