Collier County school district sued for 2020 crash involving its bus driver

Reporter: Taylor Smith Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Collier County school bus. Credit: WINK News.

A Southwest Florida school district is being sued for a bus crash, where officers questioned the driver and say she was confused. There were no students on the school bus during the time of the crash.

It happened in Collier County in 2020, and dash camera video showed why deputies were concerned with how the bus driver acted.

The crash involving a Collier County school bus happened on Magnolia Pond Dr. just west of the intersection with Collier Boulevard.

It caused concern and resulted in a lawsuit.

“I think Collier County schools are the best in the state, in the country,” Attorney Jose Nunez said. “They get the hard stuff done right, which is educating children, getting children to school safely. Should be the easiest thing we do.”

Nunez says, since the crash in October 2020, nothing has been resolved. He and his client, out of concern for students’ safety, filed a lawsuit against Collier County Public Schools and the bus driver Friday, claiming negligence.

“It became pretty apparent after she crashed with my client that she was probably impaired,” Nunez said.

Nunez showed us Collier County Sheriff’s Office’s dash cam video he obtained. It showed Collier County deputies investigating bus driver Donna Tasharski minutes after the crash.

In the video, deputies put Tasharski through several tests and expressed they were not sure she was in the right state.

At one point, deputies asked her if she felt comfortable enough to drive her own kids.

The bus driver got a ride with a school district employee after the crash.

“This person continues to work for the school board, and I don’t think they are taking it seriously,” Nunez said.

CCPS confirmed the bus driver is still employed by the school district. No one at the district had comment about the lawsuit and have 20 days to respond to the complaint.

We reached out to the driver, and she had not responded Friday.

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