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Bus with Rochester baseball team hits car in Fla.; car's driver 'not expected to survive'

  • Article by: Paul Walsh
  • Star Tribune
  • March 22, 2013 - 9:14 PM

 

A bus driver transporting a Minnesota college baseball team is suspected of running a red light in Florida, colliding with a car and critically injuring the car’s driver, police said.

The crash involving the team from Rochester Community and Technical College occurred at about 8:10 a.m. Wednesday at a busy St. Petersburg intersection near Interstate 275.

No one on the bus, including the 41 players and coaches, was hurt, police said.

The car’s driver, Virginia J. Frazier, 74, of Clearwater, Fla., is “not expected to survive her injuries,” police said in a statement. Her passenger, Eduardo Arana, 48, of Clearwater, was not as seriously hurt.

Video surveillance indicated that the bus went through a red light.

The team was on a spring-break trip and heading to a tournament at Walter Fuller Park.

Head coach Steve Hucke, who was sitting near the front of the bus, told the Tampa Bay Times that he remembers seeing a black SUV turn quickly in front of the bus, narrowly missing it.

“It was like, ‘Oh that was close,’ ” he said. “Then I saw the white car coming toward us right after that. We felt a little jolt. It happened so quickly.”

The Heartland Tours and Travel bus was driven by David S. Watkins, 33, of Viola, Minn. His driving record in Minnesota includes four speeding tickets since 2004. The most recent came in July 2012, when he pleaded guilty to going 62 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone in Olmsted County.

 

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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