A driver fleeing police Monday morning in Robbinsdale crashed into trees, road signs and other vehicles before rear-ending a school bus with children on it, police said.
About a dozen students on the bus were injured when the driver of a Mitsubishi Endeavor hit the bus from behind about 7:15 a.m. on 42nd Avenue near Regent Avenue. Five of the students were taken by ambulance to North Memorial Medical Center and seven others were evaluated for possible injuries, Robbinsdale police said.
The driver was arrested and is facing charges of drunken driving, fleeing police in a motor vehicle and criminal vehicular operation, police said.
Officers responded to a call about a car in the ditch in the area of 36th Avenue N. and Hwy. 100 just after 7 a.m. When officers made contact with the driver and told him to shut off his engine, the suspect took off and struck another vehicle as he pulled onto northbound Hwy. 100.
Police aborted a pursuit after the driver crossed a snowy median to evade officers. A short time later an off-duty officer spotted the suspect driving erratically, striking trees and road signs as he drove on County Road 81. A few minutes later another officer spotted the suspect driving west in the eastbound lanes of 42nd Avenue, where it hit the school bus. The Robbinsdale squad car that was pursuing also struck the Mitsubishi Endeavor to block it in, the State Patrol said.
The driver was arrested at the scene.
About 22 students were on bus No. 807 heading to FAIR School in Crystal.
In a statement, Robbinsdale Area Schools said it was “communicating directly with families of students transported to the hospital, as well as any students reporting injury.”
The intersection of 42nd and Regent avenues was closed for a short time after the crash.