A bus driver taking children to school was charged Wednesday with running over and killing a woman in Brooklyn Park, then fleeing the scene.
Jason R. Rynders, 33, of Maple Grove, was charged in Hennepin County District Court with criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the crash about 6:45 a.m. Monday at the intersection of Humboldt Avenue and Meadowwood Drive.
Rynders remains jailed in lieu of $150,000 bail ahead of a court appearance on Thursday.
Police have yet to release the identity of the woman who was hit as the bus headed toward Friendship Academy, a Minneapolis charter elementary school. The woman died at the scene. Police said no children aboard were hurt.
Rynders was driving for Maple Grove-based Northstar Bus Lines, said company owner Matt Regan.
Police investigators spoke with Rynders, “who admitted to hearing a noise and exiting his bus but said he did think he hit anyone,” the criminal complaint read.
The charging document also noted that the prosecution will seek an aggravated sentence for Rynders if he’s convicted because of “the presence of children.”
According to the complaint:
A “visibly upset” motorist called police and told responding officers that noticed the bus parked on the right side of the road before he felt a bump as he drove on Humboldt Avenue at roughly 30 miles per hour.
He got out of his vehicle, saw that he hit a woman and yelled to the bus driver standing outside to call 911. Instead, Rynders drove off in the bus.
Preliminary investigation “indicates that [the woman] was hit by the front of the school bus and then again by the front axle, the rear tires or possibly both,” the complaint read.
A residential surveillance camera showed the bus turning from Meadowwood onto Humboldt. The collision was heard, as was a voice.
Rynders pulled over the bus and ran back toward the spot of the collision. Soon after, the other motorist’s voice can be heard repeatedly yelling in vain at Rynders to call 911.
Also, video from the bus showed that it appeared to shudder or hit something about 6:41 a.m., the complaint states.
After all the children are off the bus, the vehicle’s video also showed Rynders looking under the driver’s side of the vehicle and walking around the bus.