Florida bus rollover kills borough man

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LAKE PLACID, Fla. — A former Naugatuck couple was injured—the husband fatally—when a tour bus rolled over in central Florida last Monday.

Charles and Edith Sherman, longtime borough residents, were among 32 senior-citizen passengers of a bus chartered by Boston-based Exploritas, formerly Elderhostel, a nonprofit educational travel organization. The passengers, aged 66-87, were enrolled in a week-long program called “Discover Old Florida” and had just viewed murals in Lake Placid. They were returning to their hotel, along with a guide from South Florida Community College.

The bus was traveling northbound on Florida’s Route 27 at about 2 p.m. when its driver, 69-year-old Larry Metzger, swerved in an attempt to avoid hitting a car that had failed to yield when turning onto the highway. The vehicle was driven by Betty Adams, 81, who was not injured, though her car did hit the side of the bus. The bus rolled over at least twice, according to a Flordia Highway Patrol report, and ejected several passengers.

John Roy, 79, of Cohasset, Mass., and Joan Horsch, 78, of Abingdon, Va., died on the scene. Adams has not been charged.

Scott Polek, a Sherman family friend whose mother was in Florida with the Shermans but was not aboard the bus, told Citizen’s News Charles was taken to Tampa General Hospital. His injuries left him without brain activity, and he was taken off life support. Edith Sherman remains hospitalized, and the couple’s six children have traveled to Florida.

The Shermans lived in Naugatuck for many years and moved recently to Brookfield.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.