Investigation underway after school bus wreck that killed Aaron Beauchamp, 9, and injured 19 others

Bus driver could face charges

FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- An investigation is underway as to what caused a fatal wreck involving a school bus and a semi-tractor trailer that killed one child and injured dozens of others Monday.

The crash happened at 3:45 p.m. Monday at the intersection of Midway Road and Okeechobee Road while elementary students were on their way home.

Nine-year old Aaron Beauchamp was found dead inside the bus after the wreck. This morning, St. Lucie County School District spokesperson Janice Karst updated the number of injured to 19.

Five are being treated at St. Mary's Medical Center and are in stable but critical condition. Seven are being treated at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center. Six others were treated and released from various hospitals Monday night.

Al Hazen, the bus driver, is among the injured.

The exact cause of the accident is still under investigation and it will be up to investigators to determine what happened and who -- if anyone -- will face charges, according to Karst.

"Obviously it's a terrible tragedy...anytime there's an accident of any kind," said Karst. "But the school staff is shaken as well, as you might expect."

Parent Neli Montalvo, whose 4th grade daughter Cindy did not take the bus Monday because of a scheduling conflict, said she has always trusted Hazen.

She said he often sent texts to parents to update them on any delays.

"The bus driver is so wonderful," Montalvo said. "We trust him so much, that when he's not around, then we are concerned."

Grief counselors will be available at Frances K. Sweet Magnet School Tuesday morning for students, parents and teachers affected by the crash.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers said Hazen was trying to make a left turn onto Midway when he collided with a semi-truck.

Hazen could face charges.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments