LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — A 17-year-old Lake Minneola High School student was fatally struck by a school bus Monday morning while riding a bicycle in a crosswalk at the entrance of the campus, Lake County Schools said.
Troopers said a 78-year-old Leesburg woman was driving a school district special needs bus at about 7 a.m. at North Hancock Road and Fox Trail Avenue near Minneola when the bus struck the student before crashing into a gate.
“The school bus driver did try to avoid that collision and swerved off the roadway,” Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Migdalisis Garcia said.
Officials said the driver had been driving for the district since 2021.
School officials said Sherman Vannoy, a senior, was taken to South Lake Hospital, where he died.
“This was a very difficult day for all of us at Lake County Schools,” said Sherri Owens, a school district spokeswoman. “We are in touch with the family and are offering our support.”
Owens said grief counselors will be on campus this week.
Students placed flowers at a makeshift memorial Monday to honor Vannoy, who was involved in both theatre and music.
Senior Natalia Erickson described Vannoy as someone who was always happy.
“He was always smiling and was a very outgoing person,” she said.
Josh Daniel, also a senior, said Vannoy as a “great guy.”
“He was full of energy all of the time,” he said. “When you were around him, you were happier.”
Daniel said the loss comes as a shock to him.
“It could have been anybody,” he said. “If he walked out of his door three seconds later that day, he would have been fine.”
Students have been asked to wear orand and blue to the school’s football game Monday evening as they were Vannoy’s favorite colors.
See a map of the scene below:
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