Names Released In School Bus Crash
Authorities have released the name of the driver that allegedly ran through a stop sign striking a Bemidji school bus and causing it to roll into the ditch.
The driver of the passenger vehicle is identified as Thomas Lee Nielsen, 29, of Chattanooga, TN.
According to a press release from Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp, Investigators learned the bus was traveling southbound on Irvine Avenue shortly before 8:00 a.m. and Nielsen, the driver of the passenger car, had been east bound on South Movil Lake Road and drove through the stop sign, striking the school bus in the right side. This caused the school bus to lose control, swerving onto the soft shoulder on the west side of Irvine and then rolling on its side in the ditch. Two children were pinned inside the bus, and one had to be extricated by Bemidji Fire Rescue.
The driver of the school bus has been identified as Patrick Russell Stout, 47, of Bemidji.
First responders and officers found the bus on its side in the west ditch south of the intersection. Several students were still inside the bus and many were suffering from minor injuries, some from more serious injuries. Rescue crews quickly extricated the students from the bus, and most who did not appear to be injured were transferred to a second bus. Five who were obviously injured were transported by ground ambulance to the Emergency Department at Sanford and one was transferred by air ambulance. The driver of the vehicle who struck the bus was also transported by ground ambulance and is in serious condition at Sanford Hospital.
The Minnesota State Patrol is assisting the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office with reconstructing the accident as the investigation continues.