PALM HARBOR, Fla. — A 15-year-old girl was flown to an area hospital Wednesday morning after being struck by a vehicle in Palm Harbor.
- Student, 15, critically injured riding her bike to East Lake HS
- Janeva Buczynski was flown to an area hospital in critical condition
- Driver of car had green light but was issued ticket for having suspended license
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash happened just before 7 a.m. as the East Lake High student was riding a bicycle to school.
Troopers said Michelle Nash, the driver of a 2004 silver Saturn 4-door sedan, was headed southbound on East Lake near Ridge Line Road when Janeva Buczynski rode her bike into traffic.
Buczynski was in the crosswalk, but Nash had the green light. A medical helicopter flew Buczynski to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa in critical condition.
Classmates, friends react
East Lake High students are still shaken up about the accident. Some are friends who have known Buczynski her entire life.
"I saw the bike," said student Michael Dohanish. "I saw a bunch of paramedics over a stretcher and I'm like, 'this is not good.'"
Dohanish and another student we spoke to, Jasmine Cullen, both said they've known Buczynski since middle school.Cullen said Buczynski usually sat across from her on the school bus each morning.
"It was shocking to think that this could happen to somebody I know, somebody that I know personally," Cullen explained. "It was just weird, that how she wasn't [on the bus] today, but she was riding her bike."
Support in place for students
Pinellas County Schools issued a statement saying it was "saddened to learn of the accident involving Janeva Buczynski. There is a support team in place at East Lake High for students and staff."
Nash was issued a ticket for driving on a suspended license. Troopers said Buczynski was not wearing a helmet.
Officials have not released details of her injuries.