A crash in Fridley last September is the jumping-off point for a new investigation by Fox 9 about collisions in which stopped school buses get rear-ended.
The report, titled I Didn't See the Bus, aired Thursday night and starts with a .
In the Fridley incident, the driver of a car smashed into the back of a school bus stopped at railroad tracks crossing Highway 65. The car driver was taken to the hospital but the bus driver was not injured; the bus was not carrying passengers at the time.
State law requires school buses (and some other types of vehicles) to stop at all railroad crossings—even on state highways such as Highway 65 with fast traffic. Despite that Fridley Fire Chief John Berg and other emergency responders at the scene said they had not seen a similar crash in Fridley before.
But Fox 9 found that such incidents are occurring with increasing frequency in Minnesota:
A survey of Minnesota bus companies shows 26 crashes so far this year.
First Student, the state's largest school bus operator, told the FOX 9 Investigators that over the past 3 years, 71 of its buses have been rear-ended while making stops.
Fox 9 also got an eyewitness and even the car driver in the Fridley crash to comment on camera.
"I said, 'This guy's going to hit this bus.' ... This guy just kept right on going," remembered [witness Wallace Hammick Sr.]. "He was doing at least 55, 60 miles an hour." ...
"To be honest, I don't know what happened," said [car driver] Jorge Guerrero. ... "I am lucky I am alive. I almost got killed" said the 46-year old carpet installer. "The police officer said that I'm luckily I only broke my arm."
Just after the crash, the bus driver describe the crash this way to Fridley Patch: ""