Tragic Accident Claims Life of Lake County High School Senior


MINNEOLA, Florida — A devastating accident unfolded on Monday morning, just before 7 a.m., on Hancock Road in front of Lake Minneola High School, resulting in the loss of a 17-year-old student's life.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), the collision involved a school bus and the 17-year-old cyclist, identified as Sherman Vannoy. The 78-year-old bus driver, who struck Vannoy, remained at the scene and fortunately, sustained no injuries.

Despite immediate transportation to South Lake Hospital, Vannoy was tragically pronounced deceased.

Lake Minneola High School Principal, William Roberts, conveyed the heartbreaking news to local parents, stating, "It deeply saddens me to tell you that we lost one of our Hawks today, a senior, Sherman Vannoy.”

FHP investigators diligently worked to reconstruct the incident. Roberts provided details, explaining, "He was involved in a tragic accident today with a school bus this morning as he was coming to school.”

The collision occurred as the teenager was cycling north on the bike trail, while the bus driver, traveling in the opposite direction, attempted a turn. The incident took place approximately half an hour before sunrise.

Trooper Migdalisis Garcia of the Florida Highway Patrol described the sequence of events, stating, "Entered that crosswalk, and unfortunately, the school bus was not able to stop in time, and they collided. The school bus driver did attempt to swerve out, which caused the school bus to crash into that fence and the stop sign on the shoulder.”

While the bus driver is on administrative leave, investigations are underway, including the review of video footage from both the school and the bus.

Lake County Schools spokesperson, Sherri Owens, addressed the somber day, noting, "This has been an incredibly difficult day for all of us, including the bus driver. She is distraught as you might imagine she would be.”

FHP affirmed that the bus driver possessed the requisite endorsements and certifications to operate the bus. The bike trail also included stop signs intended to enhance safety.

As daylight hours diminish, authorities stress the importance for cyclists and pedestrians to never assume they are automatically visible to drivers.

In a touching tribute, Lake Minneola is scheduled to face East Ridge High on Monday night, a game previously postponed due to inclement weather. The 7 p.m. game at East Ridge in Clermont will serve as an occasion to honor Sherman Vannoy, with attendees encouraged to wear his favorite color, orange.