ORLANDO, Florida — An SUV and a school bus collided, forcing the larger vehicle through a fence and into a home's swimming pool Friday morning.
- 3 children in Jeep SUV received minor injuries
- Students, school bus driver not hurt
The crash happened at around 8 a.m. when a 2017 school bus was driven by Eddikson Pena, 53, was going westbound on Willowwood Street as Yerica Vilorio Cuevas, of Orlando, was going eastbound on the same street in a 2014 Jeep SUV, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Currently, each driver says that the other swerved into the other's lane, stated the FHP.
The school bus' front struck the left front of the Jeep, according to the FHP, with the bus going to the south shoulder of the road, then through a chain link fence and then entered a home's backyard and into a swimming pool.
The school bus was heading to the Magnolia School, the Orange County Fire Rescue explained.
The homeowner helped get the nine students and the driver out of the bus from the rear of the vehicle.
"I helped them and pulled them outside, I did probably two or three. The rest come in back and we helped everybody out of the bus," said Jacques, who did not give a last name.
The students and driver on the school bus were not injured.
Originally, Lt. Kim Montes of the FHP told Spectrum News 13 that Cuevas, 25, and a child she was driving suffered minor injuries and were sent to Dr. P. Phillips Hospital.
However, in the FHP updated news release, there were three children in the SUV — ages 4, 8 and 9 — and while they received minor injuries, they were not taken to a hospital. Yet, Cuevas was taken to the Orlando Regional Medical Center for minor injuries.
Montes congratulated Pena, of Winter Park, for his driving skills, saying the outcome could have been very different.
"This ravine's about a 70-foot drop. The neighbors told me last week it was full, they cleaned it out and it's already starting to fill with water so. We do think the bus driver did a phenomenal job of not redirecting down the ravine or we would had a different outcome," she said.
The students who were on board, some who were special needs kids, bounded for Magnolia Elementary in a new school bus are all at school and safe.
School principal Tom Oldroyd sent a voice message to parents, confirming that school bus 16133 was involved in an incident just before the students were supposed to be dropped off.
He assured the parents that the students, bus driver and monitor were not injured and that the school nurse checked all the students, who are well.
The crash is under investigation as officials are waiting to review video from the school bus to discover the cause of the crash.
Reporter Julie Gargotta contributed to this story.