None of the 44 schoolchildren aboard a Franklin County schoolbus were injured Thursday afternoon, when a hit-and-run driver sideswiped the bus when it was parked along U.S. 98 in Eastpoint.
According to a report prepared by Florida Highway Patrol Deputy Daniel Quiles, the bus, driven by Carrie Frye, 42, was parked on the north shoulder of the westbound lane, about 164 feet west of Jefferson Street, when the mishap occurred around 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 24.
A 1995 Cadillac Deville, traveling west, was seen sideswiping the left side of the bus, and then continuing on. None of the schoolchildren were injured as a result of the crash, and they were transferred to a second bus to complete their delivery home.
Franklin County Deputy James Ward then made contact with the driver, Joe L. Morales, 43, of 328 Old Ferry Dock Road. The report said Morales admitted to driving the Cadillac and that the keys were found in his pocket and the damage to the vehicle was consistent with damage to the bus. The report said Wendy M. Smith, 40, of Eastpoint, was a passenger in the car.
Ward returned Morales to the scene of the accident. He was then arrested on charges of failure to drive within a single lane, no license tag, no proof of insurance, driving while license suspended or revoked and leaving the scene of a crash, and transported to the Franklin County Jail.