Four members of a Richfield family remained hospitalized Tuesday, a day after they were hurt in a crash involving a Metro Transit bus.
Fred Owens, 62, and two of his children, Justin Owens, 14, and Jada Owens, 11, were in satisfactory condition at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Jordyn Owens, 6, was in critical condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.
“Those of you who know the words of prayer please pray for both of my daughters, my son and me,” Fred Owens wrote on his Facebook page. “Pray for the drs at Hennepin County MC likewise. Please pray for my Jordyn!”
Fred Owens was driving the children to school when he attempted to make a left turn from W. 73rd Street onto northbound Nicollet Avenue about 7:30 a.m. Monday. As he made the turn, a southbound Route 18 Metro Transit bus struck Owens’ black Kia Optima. The impact sent the car careening into a northbound Route 554 Metro Transit bus that had been in a separate fender-bender and had stopped on the east side of Nicollet Avenue. The Kia came to rest on a snow berm.
A State Patrol crash reconstruction team was called in to map out the crash scene and try to determine how it happened.
Traffic on Nicollet Avenue has the right of way at the intersection. Drivers heading east or west on 73rd have stop signs, but those on Nicollet do not. Metro Transit police asked Fred Owens if he stopped at the stop sign, but he stated “I don’t know, man,” according to a copy of the crash report.
Officers noted that Fred Owens seemed to be disoriented at the time, possibly due to a head injury he suffered during the wreck.
A witness told police that she saw that Owens did not obey the stop sign and was hit by the bus as he turned left onto Nicollet Avenue, the crash report said.
Two other witnesses said they did not see enough of the crash to know what happened, the report said.
Justin Owens, who was riding in the front passenger seat, told officers that he blacked out after the collision and that his neck and jaw “were severely hurting him.” Jada and Jordyn were riding in the back seat. All four family members were taken by ambulance to the hospital.
It was not immediately clear if any of the injured were wearing seat belts.
Authorities will watch footage captured by cameras on both buses as they continue to investigate the crash.