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Thread: Bus Crash in Florida

  1. #1
    Senior Contributor THL's Avatar
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    Bus Crash in Florida

    I cannot even imagine what this foster mother must be feeling and going through.

    Fiery crash kills 7 young relatives
    Tractor-trailer rear-ends car stopped behind school bus

    (CNN) -- Seven children, including an infant, died Wednesday when a tractor-trailer rear-ended their car near Gainesville, Florida, slamming it into the rear of a school bus that had stopped to let children off.

    The car, which was driven by a 15-year-old girl with a learner's permit, burst into flames, killing everyone inside, said Lt. Mike Burroughs of the Florida Highway Patrol. The truck was partially burned, its cab overturned.

    In Florida, it is illegal for a 15-year-old to drive without an adult being in the car.

    The accident occurred shortly after 3 p.m., four miles south of Lake Butler in northern Florida.

    The bus was carrying students home from Lake Butler Elementary School and Lake Butler Middle School in the Union County School District.

    Three of nine children on the bus were seriously injured and were taken by helicopter to hospitals. None of the students' injuries was life-threatening, said Lt. Bill Leeper of the Florida Highway Patrol.

    But a spokeswoman for Shands Hospital in Gainesville said eight patients were transported, ages 5 to 16. Two were in critical condition; three in serious condition, said Betsy Miller.

    The drivers of the bus and the truck also were injured, but their conditions weren't immediately known. Their names were not immediately available.

    Video showed charred debris -- most of it unidentifiable -- strewn over a large patch of scorched ground next to State Highway 121. The vehicles were being towed from the scene late Wednesday, and the highway had not yet been reopened.

    Burroughs identified the victims as Cynthia Mann and Elizabeth Mann, both 15; Ashley Keen and Johnny Mann, both 13; Miranda Finn, 9; Heaven Mann, 3; and Anthony Lamb, 20 months.

    The Manns, except for Anthony, were adopted foster children; and the family was in the process of adopting Anthony, Burroughs said. Ashley and Miranda were cousins.

    Nicole Mann was at the wheel of the car, said Tina Mann, her aunt.

    "Yes, she's 15, she had her learner's permit, she knows how to drive," Mann said.

    "Even though she was an under-age driver, it's my understanding she did not cause the accident," she said. "The same thing would have happened had there been an adult in the car with her. We'd just have one more death in the family."

    Mann said her niece had just dropped off another child and was taking the rest of the children home "to get ready to go to church when this happened."

    The crash occurred on Southwest 75th Way, 20 miles north of Gainesville.

    All the vehicles were headed north at the time of the wrecks, Leeper said, adding, "For some reason, the (truck) driver failed to stop."

    The accident occurred in good weather along a straight stretch of road that has a posted speed limit of 60 mph.

    "There doesn't seem to be any reason why the semi could not observe the two vehicles stopped," Leeper said. "For some reason -- we're still trying to determine why -- he did not stop."

    "It's a very chaotic scene," Burroughs said late in the afternoon. "We're having trouble removing the family members from the car because of the way the car is lodged in and tied in with the metal pieces of the tractor-trailer."

    "It is a mangled, fiery crash," he said, adding that "it was a very sad moment" when victims' family members visited the scene.

    The tractor-trailer was operated by the Crete Carrier Corporation, based in Lincoln, Nebraska.

    "Our thoughts and prayers are with those involved in this accident and their families. We are in the process of gathering information, and at this point we are unable to accurately discuss the incident," said a statement from Chief Operating Officer Jack Peetz on the company's Web site.

    "We are very sorry and deeply saddened that this tragedy has happened. We will work diligently with the appropriate authorities on the investigation."

    The National Transportation Safety Board said a team of investigators was to arrive Wednesday night at the crash site.

    "The semis drive way too fast," said Effie White, a nearby resident.
    Bus Crash
    "To dream of the person you would like to be is to waste the person you are."-Sholem Asch

    "I always turn to the sports page first, which records people's accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man's failures."-Earl Warren

    "I didn't intend for this to take on a political tone. I'm just here for the drugs."-Nancy Reagan, when asked a political question at a "Just Say No" rally

    "He no play-a da game, he no make-a da rules."-Earl Butz, on the Pope's attitude toward birth control

  2. #2
    Senior Contributor THL's Avatar
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    It just keeps getting worse:

    Grandpa dies on hearing 7 children killed in fiery wreck

    LAKE BUTLER, Florida (CNN) -- News of a crash in which seven children perished so upset their grandfather that he had a massive heart attack and died, the children's adoptive mother said.

    "I lost my daddy tonight," Barbara Mann said Wednesday. "My dad died of a massive heart attack tonight over all this. He lost all seven of his grandkids ... I can't deal with this."

    A tractor-trailer plowed into the children's car near Gainesville, Florida, Wednesday, slamming it into the rear of a school bus that had stopped to let children off.

    The car burst into flames, killing all the children inside, said Lt. Mike Burroughs of the Florida Highway Patrol. (Full story)

    They have been identified as: Cynthia Mann and Elizabeth Mann, both 15; Ashley Keen and Johnny Mann, both 13; Miranda Finn, 9; Heaven Mann, 3; and Anthony Lamb, 20 months.

    All were adopted foster children, except for Anthony, who was in the process of being adopted, Burroughs said.

    Ashley and Miranda were also cousins.

    At the wheel was Cynthia Mann, who had a learner's permit. Under Florida law, it is illegal for a 15-year-old to drive without an adult.

    Cynthia Mann's aunt said the girl had just dropped off another child and was taking the rest of the children home "to get ready to go to church."

    "It's my understanding she did not cause the accident," Tina Mann said of her niece. "The same thing would have happened had there been an adult in the car with her. We'd just have one more death in the family."

    The accident occurred shortly after 3 p.m. four miles south of Lake Butler. At the time, all three vehicles -- the tractor-trailer, the car and the bus -- were heading north, said Lt. Bill Leeper of the Florida Highway Patrol.

    The tractor-trailer left no skid marks, police told CNN Thursday. But there were marks on the road indicating the driver veered away after the initial impact, police added.

    Its driver has been hospitalized and is medicated, police said, adding that they are waiting to question him about the accident. The driver had been cited for unsafe driving five years ago.

    Three of the nine children aboard the bus were seriously injured and transported by helicopter to hospitals. None of the students' injuries were life-threatening, Leeper said.

    A spokeswoman for Shands Hospital in Gainesville said eight patients were transported, ages 5 to 16. Two were in critical condition; three in serious condition, Betsy Miller said.

    The driver of the bus was also injured, but her condition wasn't immediately known.


    http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/01/26/bus.crash/index.html
    "To dream of the person you would like to be is to waste the person you are."-Sholem Asch

    "I always turn to the sports page first, which records people's accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man's failures."-Earl Warren

    "I didn't intend for this to take on a political tone. I'm just here for the drugs."-Nancy Reagan, when asked a political question at a "Just Say No" rally

    "He no play-a da game, he no make-a da rules."-Earl Butz, on the Pope's attitude toward birth control

  3. #3
    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    I have read that the grandfather died shortly after hearing of the childrens deaths.
    What a shame to have something like this strike down 8 members of a family.

  4. #4
    Tamizhanban Senior Contributor Jay's Avatar
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    why would the car burst in to flames??
    A grain of wheat eclipsed the sun of Adam !!

  5. #5
    Senior Contributor THL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay
    why would the car burst in to flames??
    sparks from all that metal rubbing against eachother getting too near the gas tank perhaps?

    The 1st link has pictures - it was pretty bad. A semi going 60mph hits a stopped mini van hard enough to push the school bus in front of the van 200 feet AND turn the bus around so it is facing the opposite direction...
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by THL; 26 Jan 06, at 20:42.
    "To dream of the person you would like to be is to waste the person you are."-Sholem Asch

    "I always turn to the sports page first, which records people's accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man's failures."-Earl Warren

    "I didn't intend for this to take on a political tone. I'm just here for the drugs."-Nancy Reagan, when asked a political question at a "Just Say No" rally

    "He no play-a da game, he no make-a da rules."-Earl Butz, on the Pope's attitude toward birth control

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    A trucker tried to do a similar thing to me and three of my friends at an intersection last September. I had stopped for a red light, and he hadn't bothered to take notice. I kept my eye on the review mirror and hit the gas through the intersection as he proceeded to jackknife his way into it. Dumbass, I have a deep disdain for truckdrivers.
    The black flag is raised: Ban them all... Let the Admin sort them out.

    I know I'm going to have the last word... I have powers of deletion and lock.

  7. #7
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    May God bless their souls.

    Cheers!...on the rocks!!

  8. #8
    Senior Contributor bonehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay
    why would the car burst in to flames??
    Usually a ruptured fuel line or tank starts the process.(not hard to imagine with a crash as this) Then all you need is a spark from the electrical system or a heat source (catalytic converter), and the BBQ party begins. Most crashes do not end this way unless it is a movie.

  9. #9
    Senior Contributor bonehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horrido
    A trucker tried to do a similar thing to me and three of my friends at an intersection last September. I had stopped for a red light, and he hadn't bothered to take notice. I kept my eye on the review mirror and hit the gas through the intersection as he proceeded to jackknife his way into it. Dumbass, I have a deep disdain for truckdrivers.
    I have had my run-ins with them as well. I will say that most truck drivers are better drivers than who is in the average car. The way most get paid, by the trip/milage, really encourages abuses of good habits, driving too long at a stretch, comes to mind. There are regulations for hrs driven and or miles driven per time period that our current administration want to relax which I feel is not a good idea safety wise. Under Nafta, Mexican trucks/drivers with less credentials than U.S. drivers, and woefully deficient trucks were to come across the border and keep on truckin'. Thankfully, most of these trucks were stopped at the border and fixed befor they could continue, though I do knot know if the drivers were brought up to speed.

  10. #10
    Staff Emeritus Julie's Avatar
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    Just thought we could update this a little:

    NTSB: Trucker had little sleep before wreck that killed 7 kids

    CNN) -- The truck driver who plowed into a car near Lake Butler, Florida, on January 25 killing seven children in a fiery crash had little sleep in the 34 hours before the wreck, investigators revealed Friday.

    "Except for a short nap, he was awake for 34 hours, but I'm not prepared to tell you whether or not he was exceeding the allowable hours of service," said David Rayburn, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator.

    The truck driver, 31-year-old Alvin Wilkerson, of Jacksonville, Florida, has not cooperated with NTSB investigators on the advice of his attorney, Rayburn said. Investigators were able to determine he had been awake for an inordinate amount of time by examining records and interviewing many people.

    "We know that he was doing something almost continuously during those hours that he couldn't have been doing if he was asleep," Rayburn said at a news conference, without elaborating.

    No drugs or alcohol were found in Wilkerson's system, Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Bill Leeper said.

    The driver of the car was 15-year-old Cynthia Nicole Mann, who had six other children, all but one related, in the car with her at the time. Two of the children were 13 and the others were 15, 9, 2 and 20 months. Mann's parents were in the process of adopting the 20-month-old.

    In Florida it is illegal for a 15-year-old to drive without an adult being in the car.

    Mann, who had only a learner's permit, was stopped behind a school bus and talking on her cell phone when the semi truck smashed into her January 25.

    The truck's cab overturned, Mann's car caught fire and, Rayburn said, three children on the school bus were ejected from the back and had to be transported to hospitals by helicopter. Wilkerson suffered burn injuries.

    Compounding the Mann family's grief, the children's grandfather suffered a massive heart attack and died when he learned of the crash.

    The Florida Department of Highway Safety said Wilkerson had been cited in the past -- in 2000 and 2001 for operating a vehicle in unsafe conditions and in 2000 for driving with a suspended or revoked license.

    Wilkerson's truck was traveling between 50 and 65 mph when it hit Mann's car, police said, adding that there was no evidence Wilkerson tried to stop before the early afternoon crash. Marks on the road showed that he veered away only after the initial impact, police said.

    It could be a year before the NTSB issues its final determination of what caused the crash. However, Union County Sheriff Jerry Whitehead said charges could be filed against Wilkerson within a month, when state authorities finish their investigation.

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/02/03/bus.crash/index.html

  11. #11
    Staff Emeritus Julie's Avatar
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    No drugs or alcohol were found in Wilkerson's system. Sleep deprivation?

  12. #12
    Senior Contributor THL's Avatar
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    "Except for a short nap, he was awake for 34 hours, but I'm not prepared to tell you whether or not he was exceeding the allowable hours of service," said David Rayburn, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator.
    I AM prepared to say that he WAS exceeding the allowable hours! There is no way the company I work for would allow their drivers to drive for this amount of time - NO MATTER THE CIRCUMSTANCES! We won't even allow our carriers that we use to drive for us to drive like this. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to call a disgruntled customer and tell them that we cannot deliver their fuel because the driver had run out of hours (normally due to having been held up at a previous customers location). This is ridiculous that he had been driving this long without sleep. The driver as well as the company he worked for (Crete, if I remember correctly) should BOTH have charges brought against them. That company should NOT have allowed or asked that driver to work that many consecutive hours.

    This really irks me! I work for a large company that strives for safety and when other companies pull this kind of crap it lowers how people see ALL companies that do any sort of deliveries.
    Last edited by THL; 04 Feb 06, at 00:20.
    "To dream of the person you would like to be is to waste the person you are."-Sholem Asch

    "I always turn to the sports page first, which records people's accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man's failures."-Earl Warren

    "I didn't intend for this to take on a political tone. I'm just here for the drugs."-Nancy Reagan, when asked a political question at a "Just Say No" rally

    "He no play-a da game, he no make-a da rules."-Earl Butz, on the Pope's attitude toward birth control

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