TRAFFIC ALERT: Three-car crash involving an Alachua County school bus ends in a fire

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 10:34 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - A three-car crash involving an Alachua County school bus sends one driver to the hospital.

According to Jackie Johnson, a spokesperson for Alachua County Public Schools, a bus was traveling on East University Ave. when a blue car attempted to pass the bus. The car clipped the rear end of the bus, lost control of the vehicle and caught on fire on impact with a power pole.

Gainesville Fire Rescue arrived onto the scene, finding the vehicle fully involved by flames and a power pole snapped in half. GFR, along with Gainesville Police, GRU, school board workers and ambulance crews, worked to clear the scene and care for the injured.

“Incident Commander, Jeffery Schuhmacher, said the scene was challenging because it involved so many hazards and multiple disciplines. Assistant Fire Chief Shawn Hillhouse explained that the fire department trains for events such including Mass Casualty Incidents, vehicle fire, and downed power lines,” Gainesville Fire Rescue said in a statement to TV20. “GFR also carries specialized equipment called “hot sticks” and “electrical gloves” that would allow the crews to remove energized electrical lines from a vehicle to rescue occupants. Additionally in the City, a response to a motor vehicle crash requiring extrication always involves a dedicated fire engine in case the vehicles catch fire.”

One driver was transported to a local hospital in critical condition, while others were evaluated on scene.

School Resource Officer Sergeant, Ariel Lugo, said this crash is like nothing he’s seen before.

“From what we’ve gathered, the driver was in the car and two citizens stopped and pulled her out of the car," said Lugo. "After that, she started to walk around as soon as they got her out of the car, but I mean it’s a miracle that she got out of that car.”

No children were on the school bus and the bus driver was not hurt. GFR says the cause of the crash remains under investigation.

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