Florida Highway Patrol releases Frances K. Sweet Magnet School bus crash report

Accident killed 9-year-old Aaron Beauchamp

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - The Florida Highway Patrol has released the traffic crash report on last month's school bus accident in Fort Pierce that sent more than a dozen children to the hospital and killed 9-year-old Aaron Beauchamp.

In the seven-page report, investigators concluded the school bus driver was inattentive behind the wheel, though they offer no details.

Aaron Beauchamp wore a lap belt, FHP investigators concluded. It was not enough. The Frances K. Sweet Magnet School student died on the scene of the March 26 crash.

The report notes the weather was clear and the road was dry around 3:45 p.m. that day.

Investigators confirmed their initial findings. The bus was heading west on Okeechobee Road and approaching Midway Road that afternoon. A semi truck was headed east.

Troopers say school bus driver, Albert Hazen of Port St. Lucie, turned left into the path of the oncoming truck. "Inattentive" is how the report describes Hazen, adding that there was no suspected alcohol use, though test results are pending.

Semi truck driver Charles Cooper, 24, took evasive action, investigators said, to avoid a collision by trying to steer to the right. It was too late. The truck slammed into the right side of the bus, spinning it around. More than a dozen children and both drivers were sent to hospitals.

An FHP spokesman declined an interview until the investigation is complete, though he did mention charges are pending.

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