A bus carrying at least 15 passengers ended up in a ditch Wednesday morning at the 300 block of Northeast 39th Avenue, Gainesville Police said.
The Regional Transit System bus ride was hit on its left side by a white SUV just west of the train tracks at about 11 a.m., GPD spokesperson Officer Ben Tobias wrote in an email. Thirteen passengers were injured and seven were taken to local hospitals, according to police. RTS reported five passengers were taken to the hospital.
“Thankfully, there were no life-threatening injuries,” Tobias said.
RTS spokesperson Chip Skinner said one of the 15 passengers was a pregnant woman.
Northeast 39th Avenue was shut down following the crash for five hours, Tobias said.
Police are still investigating how the crash occurred. Detectives believe the bus, which was on bus route 15, was either pulling back into the street from a stop or was driving east on Northeast 39th Avenue when it was hit by the SUV, Tobias said.
The crash caused the bus driver to lose control. Both vehicles came to a rest at about a 45-degree angle in the ditch at the edge of a treeline, Tobias said.
Firefighters from Alachua County Fire Rescue and Gainesville Fire Rescue worked to free passengers from the bus, Tobias said. He did not know the exact number of passengers on the bus.
Tobias said the crash investigation will take time to complete due to the number of people involved. No citations have been issued as of press time.
Skinner said standard procedure was followed and the driver was given a blood alcohol content test, which was sent to police. The driver will not face suspension until the police investigation is complete, he said.
The bus was taken to a RTS facility for repairs, Skinner said.
Contact Robert Lewis at [email protected]. Follow Robert at @Lewis__Robert.