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Bus overturns; 12 kids hurt in crash near Hawthorne

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Updated: 9/20/2013 12:10 am
PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. - A dozen middle school students in Putnam County are recovering after their school bus flipped over on its route to bring the children home.

"All I heard was screaming and crying, and they said 'Hurry up get off the bus,' said eighth-grader Chanteadra Berry.

Berry, 15, couldn't believe what happened. She and 25 other middle school students were on a Putnam County school the bus Thursday afternoon, when it flipped.

"Everybody landed on top of each other. Some people were hurt. A girl landed in the seat and the bus driver was stuck between the seat and the steering wheel," said Berry.

Her head slammed against the window, but she managed to run off the bus even with a sprained ankle. Minutes later, she and 11 other of her C.H. Price classmates were rushed to local hospitals.

"A boy's whole leg was bleeding from his knees down. A girl's arm was really swollen and bleeding and her fingers were broken," she said.

We're told the bus driver suffered the most from the impact of the crash.

"The school was northbound on State Road 21 and a green Toyota Tundra pickup truck was traveling southbound on 21. At that point, the green truck attempted to make a left turn in front of the school bus, violating its right of way," said Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Dylan Bryan.

Florida Highway Patrol says said the bus driver swerved to avoid a collision but overturned.

Even though everyone made it out alive, Berry said what happened is like a nightmare.

"I'm scared to ride buses now," said Berry.

The bus driver is recovering at UF Gainesville with deep lacerations and possible broken bones. FHP said the driver of the Toyota Tundra could be charged for violating the right of way.

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