POLK COUNTY, Fla. -- Seven people were injured after a pickup truck crashed into the back of a Citrus Connection bus in Winter Haven on Highway 17 Wednesday morning.
The preliminary crash report said that the bus had stopped to pick up passengers near Casey Avenue around 9 a.m. when the driver of the pickup truck rear-ended the bus.
Three people who were in the Toyota pickup truck, including two children ages 4 and 7, were critically injured and airlifted to Tampa General Hospital. According to Polk County Fire Rescue, neither the driver nor the seven-year-old victim was wearing a seatbelt. The child was ejected through the windshield.
The four-year-old was wearing a seatbelt, but was seriously injured. All three occupants are related.
The family was identified as driver Jaron Skipper, 36; Emma Skipper, 7; and John Skipper 4; all of Eagle Lake.
The other injured people were bus passengers at the time of the crash and were taken to Winter Haven Hospital with minor injuries. They were identified as Anabel Rodriguez, 19, of Auburndale, Calvin Edwards, 62, of Winter Haven, Richard Watkins, 48, of Winter Haven and Derrick Taylor, 37, of Haines City.
All four are listed in stable condition. The bus driver, Debra Pullins, 56, of Polk City was not injured.
Highway 17 southbound was shut down between Snively Boulevard and Highway 540 for five hours. All lanes have reopened.
Deputies are asking drivers to not approach the area.
Stay with 10News for more from this developing story.
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