In most conditions, a vehicle’s tires are supposed to remain in constant contact with the roadway. In wet or rainy conditions, the tire can cease to make contact with the road, instead riding on top of standing water. This causes the tire to lose traction and the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Reducing your speed during and after a rainstorm can help to avoid hydroplaning. Another way to avoid it is to keep tires properly rotated and balanced. Turning off cruise control while in the rain is crucial to avoiding hydroplaning. If you do begin hydroplaning, immediately take your feet off of the accelerator and gently turn your steering wheel in the direction that your car is hydroplaning.
News Channel 8 reports that a school bus with four students on board was involved in an accident that killed another driver. There were four students still on the bus on their way home from Bartow Middle School just before 5 p.m. The bus was traveling on County Road 640 in Polk County. The bus was number 1620.
The bus was heading eastbound on Homeland-Garfield Road dropping off students at home from Bartow Middle School.
28-year-old Michael Velasco was driving a 2017 Ford Focus when the car began hydroplaning for unknown reasons. The car veered into the oncoming lane, into the path of the school bus. The bus driver was unable to avoid a collision.
When the bus finally came to a stop in a ditch, the Ford Focus was crushed beneath it. Velasco died at the scene.
None of the children were injured. The bus driver and the attendant were transported to Bartow Hospital. The attendant identified as 35-year-old Crystal Newberry suffered from a hip injury and remained in the hospital. The driver was treated and released.