MAPLEWOOD, Minn. - A loud bang startled longtime Maplewood resident Rod Petschke at 7:05 a.m. Tuesday. It was a collision between a car and a school bus.
The bus, enroute to John Glenn Middle School, had stopped to pick up students at the intersection of County Road C and English. It is a corner that has seen such accidents, and worse, in the past. Petschke said drivers tend to speed up and down County Road C past English. There are no stop signs on County Road C at English where the bus stops to pick up students.
"This is the third time," said Petschke, "dropping kids off over here. There was a car that went right underneath the school bus, all the way up to the windshield."
Fortunately, that is not what happened Tuesday. None of the students boarding or already on the bus reported any injuries, nor did the driver of the car that hit the bus from behind.
"Sun being in her eyes and the windshield being somewhat fogged up," said Maplewood Deputy Police Chief Dave Kvam, "consequently, she just drove straight into the bus."
Petsche agreed. "She did not step on the brakes at all."
The female driver of the car was not injured. The driver of the school bus was taken for treatment of neck pain.
The driver of a vehicle that broad-sided another school bus Tuesday morning was taken to a hospital for treatment. His car ran into the left side of a Minneapolis school bus owned by Metropolitan Transportation of Fridley. The bus was making a left turn at Camden and 49th in Minneapolis.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is asking drivers to pay particular attention to school buses and children now that Minnesota schools are back in session.
"We want them to pay special attention when kids are getting on and off buses," said Lt. Eric Roeske, State Patrol. "Be sure to stay back and give them plenty of room to safely exit the bus."
Roeske stressed that morning and afternoon hours are the times when more youngsters and buses will be on the streets and roads.