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School bus crash sends 17 to hospital

By Staff | Sep 10, 2011

A school bus accident Friday morning sent 17 students to the hospital.

At about 10:48 a.m., the Lee County Sheriff’s Office responded to a crash at Southwest 34th Street and Southwest 17th Place. According to officials, a pickup truck ran a stop sign and traveled into the path of the school bus.

The bus was en route to Gulf Middle School.

Seventeen students reported minor injuries and were transported to three different hospitals – Cape hospital, Lee Memorial Hospital and HealthPark.

Six students on the bus were not transported.

“It was really for precautionary purposes,” Martha Crotty, coordinator of district operations for the Lee County School District, said. “Some of the students were complaining about neck pains and head aches – head pain.”

As of Friday afternoon, all 17 students had been treated and released.

According to officials, the school bus was traveling west on Southwest 34th Street. The 1997 Ford truck was traveling north on Southwest 17th Place.

Juan G. Gonzalez, 26, was operating the school bus.

Maria Pacifico Silvano, 49, of North Fort Myers, was driving the truck.

Silvano was cited for failure to yield the right of way, officials reported.