Students OK after school bus collides with car
By Brandon D. Oliver
Palatka Daily News
A school bus backed into a car Wednesday before classes began, but none of the students were injured.
According to a state Highway Patrol report, a bus driven by Wando Ramos was traveling west on Georgetown Denver Road and then stopped to pick up students.
Martinez Lurdes was driving a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer was also traveling west on that road but then stopped for the school bus, which had its stop equipment activated, authorities said.
After students were onboard, FHP said, the stop equipment was deactivated. The bus then “pulled forward across both travel lanes of Georgetown Denver Road then began to back up northeast into Lake Shore Court as part of the route,” according to the FHP statement.
The bus’ rear bumper backed into the front the Mercury, which was stopped.
None of the 59 high school students aboard the bus reported injuries, FHP officials said, and neither driver was injured.
Superintendent of Schools Rick Surrency said he was glad to learn no one was injured in the crash.
“The safety of our children and our employees are our No. 1 priority,” Surrency said.
As with any crash involving a school vehicle, the driver of the school bus underwent a drug test after Wednesday’s crash.
Surrency said as long as there are no illicit chemicals are found in the driver’s system, Ramos can return to duty.
“The procedure for drivers (is) to allow them to drive immediately after the alcohol test as long as there’s no trace of alcohol in their blood,” Surrency said.