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Semi driver charged in Highlands County accident involving school bus

By Staff | Dec 13, 2017

The Florida Highway Patrol is continuing to investigate a crash in which a Highlands County school bus was struck in the rear by a semi-truck on US 27 and Lake Ridge Drive earlier today.

The FHP reported that there were a total of 39 students on the bus. Two students were flown to Tampa General with serious injuries, multiple students (preliminary 3 students) and the bus driver were transported to a local area hospital with non-incapacitating injuries

According to the FHP accident report issued just before noon, at 7:42 a.m. today, the Highlands County school bus, driven by Selena Hawthorne, 59, of Lake Placid, Fla., was traveling north on US 27 in the right hand land approaching Lake Ridge Drive. The semi, driven by Stanley Lockwood, 45, of Orlando, was also traveling north in the right hand lane, some distance behind the bus.

The accident occurred when the bus stopped, with red lights flashing, to pick up students at Lake Ridge Drive. The semi failed to stop in time and struck the rear of the bus.

Lockwood was charged with careless driving, according to the FHP.