OCALA, Fla. – A 24-year-old Ocala man was in stable condition after he fell out of a moving party bus shortly after midnight in Orlando, according to Florida Highway Patrol troopers. Officials said the 2001 Ford bus was traveling in the center lane on State Road 408 west at Mercy Drive when Nicholas Steven Stilwell walked to the front of the bus to speak to the driver, who was identified as Jeffrey Johnson. Stilwell fell out of the door on the side of the bus' party compartment behind the cab.
FHP Sgt. Kim Miller said a preliminary investigation revealed that Stilwell stepped backward and lost his balance and his 250- to 260-pounds of body weight pushed against the door, causing it to open. She said the right rear tire ran over Stilwell.
Orange County Fire-Rescue spokesman John Mulhall said the Ocala man suffered severe injuries to both legs and a broken arm. He was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center and was listed in stable condition.
A Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken restaurant manager confirmed that Nicholas Stilwell is the son of John and Susan Stilwell, proprietors of the two restaurants in Ocala.
Miller said the accident was still under investigation.
The FHP spokesperson said there were 24 people including the driver on the bus, headed from Ocala to Orlando.
Miller said alcohol was being consumed on the bus. She said this was legal because they were drinking in the back, and it was a hired vehicle, operated by AP Limousine of Gainesville.
The company's website calls the vehicle the "Ultimate Gator Party Bus." The website gives the following description: "This party on wheels is fully equipped with 3 bars, fiber optic lights, and a premium booming sound system. Oh did I mention two fiber optic dancing poles that change color?"
Source: The Gainesville Sun