One student was airlifted and five were taken to a hospital by ambulance after a car struck the rear side of a school bus at an intersection north of Bemidji on Wednesday morning.
School bus No. 25 landed on its side in a ditch on Irvine Avenue and South Movil Lake Road, according to a statement from Bemidji Public School Superintendent Jim Hess.
One child was pinned inside the bus and was extricated by Bemidji Fire Rescue, authorities said. Many other students on the bus “suffered bumps and bruises” the superintendent’s statement said, though it did not cite the total number of students involved. All students were taken to Sanford Health for examination.
Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp said in a statement that the driver of the car was also taken away by ambulance and was in serious condition.
Parents wanting more information about their children were instructed to call a Sanford hot line set up for the incident at (218) 333-6040.
Investigators found that the bus was going south on Irvine Avenue when the driver of the car, eastbound on South Movil Lake Road, went through a stop sign and hit the bus on the right side. The bus swerved onto the soft shoulder and rolled on its side into the ditch. The crash happened sometime between 7:30 and 8 a.m.
According to a report on the Bemidji Pioneer newspaper’s website, the bus was full of elementary school students, many from the Red Lake Nation.