A 17-year-old high school senior has passed away after the 78-year-old driver of a school bus struck him meters from his high school. Sherman Van
A 17-year-old high school senior has passed away after the 78-year-old driver of a school bus struck him meters from his high school.
Sherman Vannoy, a senior at Lake Minneola High School, Florida, passed away in South Lake Hospital on Monday after he was hit by a school bus at around 7 am, shortly before his classes started.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers are still investigating the crash, and have so far said that the driver and the bicycle rider tried tried entering school grounds at the same time, resulting in the deadly crash.
Sherman was reportedly not wearing his helmet at the time.
Florida troopers said the 78-year-old driver, who has been named locally as Mary Laurenzi, was driving a school district special needs bus and has since been placed on administrative leave.
Sherman was knocked off his bike as he tried getting into Lake Minneola High School on Monday morning
The local community was shocked by the accident
His high school’s football team dedicated their game last night to Sherman
Local media reported that Laurenzi, who was hired in November 2021, was driving an as-yet-unidentified 18-year-old and a 55-year-old, neither of whom were injured.
The local community has been devastated by the crash.
Sherman’s fellow students at Lake Minneola High School paid tribute to him at a football game hosted on Monday night.
Cheerleaders wore orange to honor him, while the school’s team said they dedicated their 47-3 win against East Ridge to the high school senior.
Parents in the area also paid tribute to him.
Robbi Mitchell said in a Facebook post about the incident: ‘As a mom of 2 teenage boys that choose to bike to school every day a few miles away from this horrific tragedy, this fear has unfortunately crossed my mind more than once.’
Local politician Erick Hernandez, who sits on Minneola City’s council, said in a social media post:
Florida cops are still investigating the crash
The driver has reportedly been placed on administrative leave following the crash
‘It is with heavy hearts that we come together to mourn the loss of a young life in our community today. This morning, tragedy struck at Lake Minneola High School as we learned of a devastating accident that claimed the life of one of our students.
‘No words can adequately express the profound sadness and grief that we are feeling as we extend our deepest condolences to the family of the student who has left us far too soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this unimaginably difficult time.
‘This tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the fragility of life and the importance of cherishing every moment we have with our loved ones. It is a reminder that, as a community, we must come together to support one another in times of sorrow and loss.
‘Please keep the family of the student in your thoughts and prayers as they cope with this devastating loss. Let us also reflect on the importance of safety, compassion, and unity within our community during these trying times.’
On the same day that Sherman was hit, Florida Highway Patrol launched a pedestrian safety campaign.
Clermont Police Department chief Charles Broadway said: ‘October marks National Pedestrian Safety Month, and as the seasons change, so too should our vigilance on the roads.
‘Here in Florida, where our roads are often bustling with both residents and tourists, the safety of every pedestrian is paramount.’
Data from Florida Highway Patrol revealed that the number of pedestrian crashes has been rapidly since 2020, though fatalities have only increased a small amount.
The force said that in 2022, the months of March, October and December had the highest number of crashes, and that Friday was the most common day for crashed to occur.