DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A crash involving a Votran bus killed one person and shut down part of International Speedway Boulevard in Daytona Beach Monday morning.
Florida Highway Patrol said the bus was stopped near Indian Lake Road to let off passengers when it was hit by a Volusia County utility truck.
For some reason, the truck did not slow down and rear-ended the bus, sparking a fire that spread to the truck. Neighbors nearby described hearing an explosion.
The driver of the truck, a 52-year-old man from South Daytona who was a county employee, was pronounced dead at the crash site, according to FHP. He was identified in a Volusia County statement as Tim Swiger, a skilled carpenter who specialized in cabinetry, framing and special projects with Volusia County’s facility management division.
NEW INFO: victim identified as Tim Swiger, a tradesworker who worked for the county since Feb 2000. Described as great person and skilled carpenter. His colleagues are receiving emotional support from county resources @MyNews13 #News13Volusia pic.twitter.com/f7FFZUBHdG— Nicole Griffin (@NicoleNews13) June 28, 2021
Fourteen of the 15 passengers were taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.
Volusia County praised Swiger's work since he joined the county's staff Feb. 14, 2000.
“He was a great person,” Facility Management Director Jim Corbett added. “He always had a smile on his face and was well-liked throughout the county.”
The county said it could not comment on the details of the incident because it remains under investigation but it indicated thoughts are with employees and for those all those impacted.
"“We are extremely shocked and deeply saddened by Tim’s death,” County Manager George Recktenwald said. “Our immediate concern is for the safety and welfare of his family and our employees. We are here for his family and loved ones, as well as his colleagues and other county employees who are understandably shaken up by the incident. This is such a shocking tragedy, and all of us are still processing today’s events. As we grieve the loss of one of our own, together we are supporting our entire county family at this difficult time.”
One man who said he usually rides the bus involved said several friends who were passengers Monday morning luckily are doing OK, but he said he now thinks twice about taking the bus in the area.
“That could have been us, a couple hours later and it is like, man, anything can happen. You know what I mean?" said Nicholas Ramos, who often catches that bus to get to work. "It was really unexpected."
The road was shut down in both directions for a short while, but the road was reopened later.