On Tuesday, Florida Highway Patrol arrested 37-year-old Robert Cook after he confessed to fleeing the scene after hitting a Santa Rosa County School Bus. Upon turning himself into authorities, Cook was charged with careless driving, leaving the scene of a car accident and driving on a revoked driver’s license.
Officials claim that Cook fled the scene on foot after his vehicle hit the underside of a loaded school bus near Villa Woods Circle in Gulf Breeze. According to reports, the bus had 23 students on board during the accident which occurred around 3 p.m. on Monday. Florida Highway Patrol reports claim the bus was attempting to unload students when Cook’s vehicle struck the bus. No one was injured in the crash due to the low speeds involved.
In a statement provided to the Santa Rosa’s Press Gazette, Cook denies certain facts in the police report. Cook expressed, “I did not just flee the scene…I was in my car when my cell phone rang and when I looked up the bus had just stopped and I hit it.” Additionally, Cook believes he did care about the welfare of the passengers on the bus before leaving the scene. Cook explained, “…as soon as I got out of the car I didn’t think about myself or my car, but I went to check on the students to make sure everyone was okay and when I found that they were then is when I left the scene.”
Cook was released from the Santa Rosa County Jail yesterday around 10:30 a.m. on $6,000 bail.
- Bus accident in Gulf Breeze (Updated) (Santa Rosa’s Press Gazette, May 25, 2010)