An Alachua County Public Schools student was seriously injured after a semi truck struck a school bus on Northeast Waldo Road shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday.
The school bus had stopped in the right southbound lane of Northeast Waldo Road near 80th Way about five miles north of the Gainesville Regional Airport to pick up students. The Howard Bishop Middle School student was getting on the bus when the bus and the student were struck by the semi, Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Bruce Simmons said.
The student was transported to UF Health Shands Hospital in serious condition, Simmons said. No other injuries were reported.
A second school bus arrived to transport students to their respective schools. Students on the bus were being transported to Lincoln Middle School and Howard Bishop Middle School, said Jackie Johnson, a spokeswoman for the Alachua County School Board.
Patricia King, who has two children who catch the same school bus at the stop just north of where it was hit, said changes are needed at the bus stops.
“I’ve had [seen] almost eight people hit the bus this year,” she said.
She said her daughter – a sixth-grader at Howard Bishop – was still on the bus when she called her after witnessing the student’s injury.
“They need to change the light system on the buses,” she said. “[Motorists] can’t see them.” The posted speed limit on that stretch of road is between 55 mph and 60 mph.
The semi ended up in front of the school bus with its cab facing north and the trailer still attached and partially on the right-hand side of the road facing south. Traffic was backed up in both directions before it was eventually cleared. Simmons said the crash remains under investigation.