Neighbors Say Bus Accident Happened at Dangerous Intersection

It was a rough ride home from school for some students yesterday. A car slammed into their bus at Largo Drive and Stillwood. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

Neighbors say it's a dangerous intersection. You've got several schools, a very big residential neighborhood and a very busy Largo Drive that cuts right through the area. The trouble is, not everyone stops for the traffic.

The accident could have been much worse. Kasey Hutchinson said she and her friend were driving down Largo when the school bus carrying more than a dozen Southwest Middle School students came through the intersection at Stillwood Drive.

"We slammed on the brakes and slid into her," Hutchinson said. "She went because she probably thought the little car will stop."

Police say the bus driver had the stop sign, but apparently never saw the car coming. But the students did. "We were sitting right there and she just crashed into us," said six grader Ethan Brown. "It was smoking and everyone was running off the bus."

"I was sitting towards the seat and I hit my neck and then I saw smoke and glass and she hit us at the gas tank, I think," student Timothy Wilcher told us.

Largo doesn't have a stop sign but Stillwood does. The trouble is, neighbors say many drivers just blow right past the stop sign on Stillwood.

"Somebody is going to get killed one day," said Lynette Turner, whose family has lived there for nine years. In that time, she's known five people who have been in accidents at this corner, including her own daughter.

"A big old truck was coming this way and he hit her and she was airborne and flipped three times," Turner said. "Luckily, she wasn't permanently damaged. It's scary."

Turner says more signs at the intersection might help, but until then, "Every time I go through here I slow down if I see a car coming, because you never know if they're going to stop or not."

Police ticketed the bus driver for failing to stop for oncoming traffic. The bus company, Laidlaw, is conducting its own investigation.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com