A teenager driving a pickup truck dropped his coffee and wound up rear-ending a bus of Armwood High School students on Thursday morning, leaving more than a dozen people injured.
About 6:30 a.m., Logan Slanders, 16, was driving a 1996 Ford F-150 about 35 to 40 mph southbound on Highway 579 (Mango Road) when he dropped a cup of coffee, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Slanders leaned over to get the coffee and got distracted from the road.
When he looked up, it was too late to avoid hitting the back of a Hillsborough County school bus carrying 20 students, the sheriff’s office said. The bus had stopped for traffic, and southbound traffic had stopped for a northbound bus loading students at Highway 579 and Bay Hills Circle.
Fourteen of the students on the bus and the driver Darlene Bennett, 64, of 13705 McIntosh Road, Thonotosassa, were treated and released from Florida Hospital.
Slanders, of 11901 Highway 579, Thonotosassa, received minor injuries and was taken to a walk-in medical facility by his mother, the sheriff’s office said. He is charged with one count of careless driving and one count of failure to wear a seat belt. Slanders, a student at Strawberry Crest High School, was released to his parents.