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Adoptive Family Killed
January 26, 2006 permalink
In this tragedy, seven adoptive children died in a traffic accident.
Normal families have to wait years to adopt one child. In previous cases of many adoptions in one family, the state has used the family as a dumping ground for its problem children. We await further news on this case. A check with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shows that a fifteen-year-old may hold a learners license but not an operator's license.
7 adopted children killed in fiery Florida school bus crash
CBC World News, 04:35:11 EST Jan 26, 2006
LAKE BUTLER, Fla. (AP) - Seven children who had been adopted by a single family were killed Wednesday in a fiery crash when their car was crushed between a truck and a stopped school bus in rural northern Florida.
The children, ranging in age from 15 years to 21 months, were alone in the car, headed toward their home about three kilometres north of the crash site. The truck hit them from behind, pushing the car into the bus and causing the car to burst into flames, police said. "It's a very chaotic scene," said Lieut. Mike Burroughs of the Florida Highway Patrol.
"It's just a mangled, charred mess."
Everyone in the car was killed, including the 15-year-old girl who was driving illegally. All the youngsters had been adopted by the same family and lived together, police said.
It was unclear why the children were unaccompanied.
Evidence from the scene showed the truck, which was carrying bottled water, did not brake before hitting the car on the two-lane road, Burroughs said.
The bus ended up 60 metres from where the car struck it and the cab of the truck lay overturned near the scene, Burroughs said. The bus was at an approved bus stop but it was not immediately clear whether children were getting on or off.
Nine students were on the bus and three were thrown from the vehicle by the force of the crash.
State police said three were seriously hurt and six others suffered minor injuries. Hospital officials said they received five children, two of whom were in fair condition late Wednesday and three who were in serious condition.
The drivers of the bus and the truck were also taken to hospitals. The truck driver suffered minor injuries and authorities planned to interview him. The bus driver was thrown from the vehicle and her condition was not immediately known.
The car was driven by 15-year-old Nicki Mann, who was with siblings Elizabeth Mann, 15; Johnny Mann, 13; Heaven Mann, three; Ashley Kenn, 13; Miranda Finn, eight or nine years old; and Anthony Lamb, almost two years old. Lamb was in the process of being adopted, Burroughs said.
Joy Clemmins, who lives next to the crash site, said she heard the collision and ran out of her house.
"It was horrible. People were screaming, children were wandering around, two were laying the middle of the road," she said.
"It is like they were walking around in a dream."
The bus was operated by the Union County school district, which has three schools from pre-kindergarten to Grade 12 in the area about 100 kilometres southwest of Jacksonville.
School Supert. Carlton Faulk said extra grief and guidance counsellors will be on hand Thursday to help children deal with the tragedy.
Meanwhile, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team of investigators.