An Apple Valley semitrailer truck driver who nearly hit a young girl after illegally speeding past a school bus on the shoulder of a central Minnesota highway was sentenced Wednesday to one year in Kandiyohi County jail, two years’ probation and a $1,000 fine.
The driver, Allen Howard Morris, pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor in connection with the May 2014 incident. Morris, 48, did not stop after narrowly missing a 13-year-old girl waiting for the bus in her driveway, according to the State Patrol.
Cameras inside the bus captured the close call, which happened around 7 a.m. on May 30 on Hwy. 23 near Paynesville and New London. The video shows the semitrailer truck blow past the stopped school bus — with its lights flashing and stop arm down — and continue down the road. No one was injured.
Sixth-grader Alexis Schwartz told the Star Tribune in August that she felt the wind and the dust that morning when the big truck blew by and missed her by the width of little more than a three-ring binder. The bus driver estimated the truck was going 45 to 50 miles per hour on a stretch of highway where it drops from four lanes at 65 mph to two lanes at 55 mph.
According to the criminal complaint, Morris said he was looking off to one side at a field before returning his eyes to the road and was unable to stop in time. He was driving from Barron, Wis., to Willmar on the day of the incident.
Morris turned himself in to police a few days after the footage went viral on YouTube June 3. In addition to his sentence, the Kandiyohi County judge also ordered him to write a letter of apology.