School buses in Maplewood, Minneapolis get a first-day jolt

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 4, 2012 - 11:10 PM
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Some middle-schoolers in Ramsey County heading to their first day of classes Tuesday morning were given a jolt when a car struck their bus and injured their driver, authorities said.

The crash occurred near the intersection of County Road C and English Street, according to police in Maplewood.

The bus was on its way to John Glenn Middle School and had stopped to pick up children and "had its stop arm out and warning lights flashing" when a car hit it from behind, said Deputy Chief Dave Kvam.

"The driver of the striking vehicle . . . said that between the sun in her eyes and fogging window, [she] did not see the bus prior to striking it," he said.

The injured bus driver was taken by ambulance to St. John's Hospital in Maplewood, said School District 622 spokeswoman Jennifer McNeil. The nature of the injuries were not immediately known.

There is no word on whether anyone in the car was hurt.

"All of the kids are fine and at school," McNeil said.

Another crash involving a school bus and a car was reported Tuesday morning in north Minneapolis, police said. The collision occurred near 49th and Camden Avenues and sent the car's driver to North Memorial Medical Center with unspecified injuries, according to Police Sgt. Stephen McCarty.

No one on the bus was hurt, McCarty added.

The bus was being operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Network. An official with the company was not available for comment or to explain what school the bus was serving. The Minneapolis School District said the bus was not serving one of its schools.

Last year in Minnesota, there were 615 school bus crashes that resulted in one nonstudent fatality and 214 injuries, 75 of them being students, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, children are eight times safer riding in a bus to school than any other vehicle.

"Kids are very safe in school buses, and to keep them safe, motorists need be paying attention and take extreme caution for children exiting buses," said State Patrol Lt. Brian Reu.

Motorists in Minnesota must stop for red flashing lights and when stop arms are extended -- both when driving behind a bus and when coming toward a bus on undivided roads.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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