A gasoline tanker truck slammed into the back of a Broward County, Florida, transit bus Tuesday morning, injuring 25 people. According to initial reports, 22 people have been taken to local hospitals for treatment while three others were treated on the scene. One of the bus passengers has been classified as a trauma alert patient with spinal injuries, according to South Florida media reports.
The crash occurred around 9 a.m. just north of Fort Lauderdale in the city of Margate. Broward Country Transit bus 1106 was traveling northbound on U.S. 441 when the fuel truck crashed into it near the intersection of Margate Blvd. Authorities at the scene said that the tanker truck was empty when the crash occurred. The driver of the truck was not injured, nor was the bus driver.
The crash is likely to weigh in on the continuing debate over whether commercial, transit, and even school buses should provide seatbelts for passengers, as have a number of other crashes involving passenger buses in recent months.
Dan Booker, division chief for Margate Fire Rescue, told the Sun-Sentinel that the numerous injuries in the crash could be attributed to a lack of seatbelts in passenger buses. In 2009, the last year in which national transportation statistics have been calculated, more than 10,000 people were injured in bus crashes. Of the 221 fatal bus crashes that year, 77 involved transit buses while 89 involved school buses.
Police haven’t yet determined why the driver of the fuel tanker crashed into the transit bus and the crash remains under investigation.