St. Petersburg, Florida — Eight people were taken to the hospital after a head on collision between an SUV and a PSTA bus in St. Petersburg on Thursday morning.
It happened on the stretch of Gandy Boulevard that runs between Interstate 275 and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street.
People who live near the crash site say they fear for their lives every day because of drivers speeding down that road.
Eight people were taken to the hospital after a head on collision between an SUV and a PSTA bus in St. Petersburg on Thursday morning.
"That's scary. I don't know how I would be able to manage if I were on that bus," said Dan Giacobbe who usually rides that bus home.
He said he can't believe what he's seeing.
"I''m grateful for not being on that bus this morning," he said.
The serious accident is between a PSTA Bus and an Acura MDX at 94th Avenue North, just east of Gandy Blvd.
According to police, Ruth Hoffelmeyer, 57, was eastbound on Frontage Road in a 2005 Acura MDX, when she approached a slight bend in the road. At the same time, a PSTA bus, driven by Robert Davis, 48, was westbound on 94th Avenue and headed to the same bend in the road.
Hoffelmeyer failed to make the curve, crossed the double yellow line and struck the bus head on, police said.
Hoffelmeyer is in critical condition at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg. Police said it was found that she likely suffered a medical episode that caused her to lose control of the vehicle.
At the scene, were about 21 first responders, broken glass, decimated bumpers, a wrecked SUV and the people, some of them children, coming out of the bus.
"The driver of the SUV appeared to have possibly crossed lanes and ran head on into the bus itself," said Lt. Steve Lawrence with St. Petersburg Fire Rescue.
About half of the 15 bus passengers were treated at the scene. Seven of them were taken to hospitals for evaluation.
But a crash like this isn't surprising to Giacobbe.
"'Cause of the bend right here, the cars just whiz right by," he said. "So I see cars and motorcycles just speeding by all the time."
He even tries to stay in the grass while walking to stay safe, Giacobbe added.
St. Petersburg police say the last serious crash with a fatality was several years ago, and the road where the SUV and bus collided is not an issue for them.
But even to experienced first responders, seeing something like this happen, let alone in broad daylight, is a surprise.
"We don't have too many vehicle head on collisions between a vehicle and bus," Lawrence said.
Police are continuing to investigate the cause of the accident.