Two Florida students hit by car while waiting for school bus die of their injuries, officials say



Two Florida students have died of their injuries after being struck by a car as they were waiting for their school bus. Another two students were injured.

The Royal Palm Beach Community High School students were sent to hospital just before 7am on March 22, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

They were hit when driver Angel Antonio Lopez, 57, lost control of his vehicle and drove up on the sidewalk.

Student Tiana Johnson, 15, died at St Mary’s Medical Center the following day. On Monday, police announced Chand Wazir, 15, had also died of his injuries, but they did not say when his passing occurred.

Kkoi Phan, 17, and Rondell Lawrence, 16, were also injured. They have been released from the hospital and are currently recovering, WPTV reported.

Mr Lopez sustained minor injuries. Police records reveal that he left the Florida Palms West Hospital emergency room against the guidance of medical staff and that he still had an IV in his arm from him.

Charges against Mr Lopez are pending and law enforcement are awaiting toxicology results to see if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to WPTV.

Tiana Johnson, 15, died after she was struck by car while waiting for the school bus in Palm Beach, Florida

(WPTV)

Search warrants show that he’s under investigation for DUI manslaughter, the local station reported.

Last week, Royal Palm Beach Community High School Principal Michelle Fleming told parents that the bus stop would be relocated “out of respect for the victims and families of Tuesday’s devastating vehicle accident, and in an effort to be sensitive to all students utilizing that stop” . The change went into effect on Monday.

Mr Lopez has not been arrested or charged and officials say he’s cooperating with law enforcement. Both his wife and lawyer have declined to speak to the media.

Several Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office search warrants obtained by WPTV state that Mr Lopez was lethargic and stumbling around after the crash. He also had 27 non-narcotic prescription pills in his vehicle.

Search warrants state that the first officer who arrived at the scene thought Mr Lopez was “impaired,” saying that “he got out of the driver’s seat and stumbled around when he walked”.

A second investigator later said “he saw indications of impairment” and that he “had slow movements and seemed lethargic”. Mr Lopez reportedly told an investigator that he remembers hitting a curb but that “he didn’t know what happened after that”.

The investigator said Mr Lopez “appeared lethargic, slow and seemed dehydrated. His pupils were constricted and his mouth was dry. He had trouble keeping his eyes open and the sunlight seemed to bother him.”

He “stumbled while standing and walking” and “he had trouble getting up and down losing his balance” the investigator added, according to the warrants.

A witness who called 911 said Mr Lopez was “stumbling around and seemed disoriented,” adding that she thought he might be suffering from a head injury.

The warrants said that the students who later died sustained “serious injuries” and “massive head trauma”.

In a black backpack found next to Mr Lopez’ 2018 Alfa Romero Stelvio, police found a vaping pen with brown liquid, a brown bottle labeled SUN MED that also contained a liquid, two white bottles labeled Tren 75 – a legal testosterone supplement – ​​161 brown capsules, and Clear Eyes eye drops, according to WPTV.

The local station also reported that Mr Lopez owns and operates a janitorial business.


www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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