Bus crash in '87 killed six in Levy


Published: Thursday, January 26, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 at 11:21 p.m.
White crosses on a knoll continue to memorialize the deaths of six people at the scene of a 1987 Levy County bus crash. Until Wednesday's Union County bus crash, the Levy County accident was the last one in North Florida to involve several fatalities.
On Aug. 28, 1987, then-26 year old Scott Lou Allen of Tampa drove his flatbed truck north on County Road 337 at about 40 mph. Allen later told troopers he never saw the stop sign at the intersection with County Road 32 and only saw the bus in the instant before impact.
The front of the truck broadsided the bus, lifting the bus off the ground and knocking the body from the chassis. Those killed in the crash included school bus driver Edith Asbell, 59, and five students: Benjamin Bennett, 4, Tommy Thompson, 9, Glenda Morrow, 6, Charles Wilburn, 11, and Matthew Queen, 8. It took emergency crews two hours to get all 17 of the people who were injured out of the bus.
The bus was carrying special education students home after the school day.
Allen was sentenced to two years' probation as part of a plea deal nine months after the crash. Florida Highway Patrol troopers investigating the crash found no negligence on Allen's part.
The civil suits that were filed against Allen's employer were settled out of court within a year of the crash, with a $4 million settlement being divided among the plaintiffs.
Karen Voyles can be reached at (352) 486-5058 or voylesk@gvillesun.com.

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