2 dead in Northside crash involving school bus

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Two people died Friday afternoon in a fatal crash involving a school bus near Dunn Avenue and Silver Key Drive.

Around 3 p.m. two vehicles, a black Volkswagen Beetle and a white Oldsmobile SUV, were stopped behind a school bus letting students off while stopped on eastbound Dunn Avenue when a tractor-trailer stopped too late, according to Sgt. Dylan Bryan of the Florida Highway Patrol. The tractor-trailer, driven by 70-year-old Joseph Pickett, overturned and hit both vehicles and the rear portion of the bus.

The two people in the white SUV died, the driver, 40-year-old Carla M. Blissitt, at the scene and the passenger, 65-year-old Naomi James, at UF Health of Jacksonville, according to an FHP report.

Four students on the bus, the driver of the Volkswagen Beetle and Pickett were transported to UF Health with minor injuries.

According to the FHP report, 13 students were on board the bus. Duval County Public Schools spokesperson Marsha Oliver said the bus was coming from Dinsmore Elementary School.

Charges are pending against Pickett, who is fully cooperating with the investigation, Bryan said.

Dunn Avenue from Braddock Road to Young Road was closed for several hours while the crash was investigated.


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