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April 21, 2014  |   Comments (8)   |   Post a comment

Florida school bus driver killed in crash

By Thomas McMahon


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A school bus driver here was killed when his bus was struck by a car and ran off the road, and the car driver has been charged with DUI, authorities said.

Police, fire and medical personnel responded to the crash, which happened around 2:25 a.m. on Friday.

According to the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, the bus was carrying a high school track team. Including students and coaches, there were 33 passengers on board.

Police said that the preliminary investigation at the scene found that a Toyota Camry driven by Sarah Walker, 25, was traveling east on a parkway when it turned at an intersection and struck the school bus, which was headed west on the parkway.

Police said that after the initial impact, the bus veered off of the road and struck a traffic signal pole. The bus driver, 65-year-old William Fowler II, did not survive the crash.

Two students and one coach suffered non-life threatening injuries and were taken to a hospital.

According to the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, the Toyota driver, Walker, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. She was taken to the county jail.

Authorities said on Friday that the investigation was continuing.

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Read more about: fatalities, Florida, impaired driving, law enforcement, school bus crash

Once again it seems the issue of safety really gets down to money. It's all well and good to talk about safety, but ultimately someone has to pay for it. School buses don't belong on the road in the wee hours of the morning. Are sport events truly that important? Now some poor bus driver is dead for the sake of a game. Doesn't make sense to me.

Geoff Bridgman    |    May 12, 2014 10:11 AM

It is an issue with trip buses out so early in the morning. School boards don't want to spend the money for a much safer overnight stay, nor work together with a school or a church in the area to open their gym to overnight stays. When someone dies we are all sad about that, regardless, accidents like this one is sadder when we all know it was preventable. Another bus driver down from a another sad event.

jkraemer    |    Apr 24, 2014 12:25 PM

I couldn't agree more with the above comment. School events shouldn't be scheduled if they are returning at that hour. We not only put students at an undue risk, but the driver as well. I have had to drive students home over mountain passes at 3am, not getting home until 4:30am during snow storms. The reasoning behind these trips coming home so late is that they can't afford to keep the kids in a hotel, gym floor, or whatever, overnight. I would say that a life is much more valuable. So sorry for the family of the driver, this should have never happened.

Tina Rogers    |    Apr 24, 2014 09:21 AM

Our condolences goes out to the Leon County Transportation Department and the family of Mr. William Fowler from the Valdosta City Schools Transportation Dept.

Valdosta City School    |    Apr 24, 2014 05:28 AM

Our thoughts and prayers are with you in Leon County and with the family of William Fowler.

Sally    |    Apr 23, 2014 07:13 AM

I also question the time the trip returned, however it is very sad! Our prayers are with you Leon County.

lorraine watson    |    Apr 23, 2014 04:50 AM

I have reservations about a school bus being on the road at 2:30 in the morning for any reason. These events should be scheduled so buses don't have to be on the highways at such hours when a lot of drunks and other creeps tend to be on the road. It's sort of asking for trouble. I never would have signed for that trip. I keep my driving local and in daylight as much as possible.

Geoff Bridgman    |    Apr 22, 2014 03:55 PM

Our hearts and prayers are with our extended transportation family in Leon. Such sad news.

Sharon Arnold    |    Apr 22, 2014 12:54 PM

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