Two school bus drivers are being hailed as heroes Friday for saving the lives of nearly 60 students in an early morning crash.
Deputies say it was a combination of fog and a distracted truck driver. This could have ended tragically if not for the quick thinking, well trained school bus drivers.
Early Friday morning bus drivers in Wakulla County were making their rounds, picking up students and taking them to school, but for two bus drivers and more than 50 students on U.S. Highway 61, it was anything but a routine morning.
Officials say amazingly everyone walked away.
David Miller, Wakulla County Superintendent, says, "I think it's very important to realize we're very fortunate. I think our driver took a lot of evasive action in a situation where there wasn't a lot she could do. She deserves a lot of credit."
Law enforcement says an 18 wheeler and two buses are involved. The semi was traveling northbound on Highway 61 and veered into the southbound lanes toward the buses. The first bus got out of the way, but the second bus was in danger.
Trooper Dennis Revell of the Florida Highway Patrol says, "The bus was fortunate enough to see the vehicle coming and she veered from her proper lane to the other."
MAJ Maurice Langston with FHP says, "She braked initially and turned to the left. If you look on the other side of the road, there's swamp. She missed a head-on collision and avoided the swamp area."
David Miller says, "She acted admirably and the kids did too."
MAJ Maurice Langston adds, "Our drivers receive extensive training, because after all, they're carrying the most precious cargo that we have."
The bus drivers were taken to Tallahassee Memorial with some of the kids and all are doing fine. We're told the names of the bus drivers, Christine Vick and Neil Watts. The semi truck driver will be charged with failure to drive in a single lane.
As far as what caused the semi truck driver to veer into the oncoming lanes, the conditions Friday morning were foggy and he told troopers that he was wiping his windshield.