[B]Bus driver, 80, charged in 3rd Disney bus crash in 2 weeks[/B]
By Anika Myers Palm and Susan Jacobson, Orlando Sentinel
A Disney bus driver was charged with careless driving after two passenger vehicles were struck by his bus shortly before noon Saturday.
Florida Highway Patrol identified the driver as Fredrick Cassens, 80, of Auburndale. He struck the back of a 2009 Chevrolet sport utility vehicle that was stopped at a red light at East Buena Vista and World drives, troopers said. The impact caused the Chevy to hit the back of a 1999 GMC van, also a Disney vehicle, that was stopped for the light, too.
WESH.com reported that 19 people were on the Disney bus. There were said to be no injuries.
A check of Cassens’ driving record shows one infraction, a 2004 charge of failing to obey a traffic-control device in Osceola County. He admitted guilt and paid a fine.
The crash was the third such event on the theme park’s property in the past two weeks. The most recent killed a 9-year-old Pinellas County boy, who was run over Thursday after his bicycle drifted into the side of a Disney bus at Fort Wilderness Resort , investigators said.
Asked whether the company would alter its bus-travel procedures in light of the accidents, spokeswoman Andrea Finger said Disney World continually analyzes its operations, including transportation. About 300 buses operate on Disney property every day, she said.
“Based on the information provided by the Florida Highway Patrol [on the crashes], we continue to believe that our transportation is safe,” Finger said.
An online ad for bus drivers states that they must have a commercial drivers license, conduct bus-safety inspections and answer guest questions. There is no upper age limit, although drivers must pass a physical at least once every two years, Finger said. Starting pay is $10.25 per hour.