5 Injured, 3 Displaced In St. Cloud School Bus Crash

By Bill Hudson, WCCO-TV

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (WCCO) — A school bus in St. Cloud was hit by a taxi and ended up smashing right through a duplex off 15th Avenue Southeast in St. Cloud.

With bags slung over their shoulders, carrying just bare essentials, the three men who lived in that duplex headed out to temporary Red Cross shelters. A violent start to a normally peaceful Monday morning forced them from their home.

Ronald Swenson had just left his front bedroom and was sitting in the living room when he heard the noise.

“There was a big boom. I didn’t know what was going on. My roommate come running out, he says, ‘cover your head’ … crap was falling off the walls,” Swenson recalls.

Karsten Bliss lives in the same duplex and remembers thinking something terrible had just happened.

“I just come running out of the bedroom, I thought it was the train,” said Bliss.

That violent thud they both heard was a school bus carrying about 30 elementary students heading to Talahi School just five blocks away. Shortly before 7:30 a.m. the bus was hit by a taxi carrying two students to the same school. 

“Then I looked through a peephole and I see a bus and I’m like, ‘What the hell is a bus doing coming through my wall,'” said duplex resident Edward Broadfoot.

According to police investigators, the bus was heading south along 15th Avenue SE when it approached an intersection with Lincoln Avenue. The taxi was going eastbound on Lincoln Avenue and was supposed to stop before turning onto 15th Avenue.

Police said the taxi either rolled through the stop sign or failed to yield right-of-way and crashed into the bus. Police cited the taxi’s driver, 57-year-old Donald Fleming, with failure to yield.

The impact of the crash sent the bus, driven by 40-year-old Kathy Vogt, out of control. She rolled across the railroad tracks and over a curb, coming to rest in the front entrance of the duplex.

Three students and both drivers were taken to the St. Cloud hospital with minor injuries. Ronald Swenson feels lucky, he wasn’t the sixth.

“I would have been in my bedroom and I probably wouldn’t have made it or I would have been seriously injured,” said Swenson.

All of those transported to the hospital have been treated and released. The Red Cross has arranged for temporary shelter for the displaced duplex residents.

More from Bill Hudson
  • gtV

    You should be asking why the parents put their kids in a taxi? Something doesn’t sound right here?

  • M B

    I’m glad no one was seriously hurt. It could have been much, much worse.

    The next thing I thought after that when I saw the picture is, “I’ve heard of door to door service, but this is crazy.”

  • Bill P

    As a child if we missed the bus and our mother decided that we weren’t getting the day off she took us to school in a taxi. Needless to say we didn’t miss the bus often or we were in deep trouble. Mom didn’t drive and dad was already on his way to work.

  • Val

    Same as Bill P; if we missed the bus we were put in a taxi cause Mom didn’t drive and didn’t have a second car. Cabbie could’ve had the sun in his eyes (which doesn’t excuse it), but could explain how he missed the stop sign (and if you think you have the ROW, sometimes you’re just not looking for big yellow school busses; Details are still out on this. We shouldn’t fill in our own facts.

  • gloria

    It is far cheaper for a district to contract with a cab company to provide transport for one to three students than to operate a 40 foot school bus. The kids obviously attend a school others in their area do not. It was no doubt an accident and the story doesn’t offer many details about the location or other factors. Lighten up, folks.

  • JD

    My children attending the Wayzata Public Schools – you probably don’t want to know how many students arrived there via taxi – coming from MINNEAPOLIS. Yep, good ole open enrollment – that’s our tax dollars at work.

    • From St. Cloud

      Talahi is not the type of school you would EVER want to Open enroll to…

  • http://transportdisasters.inthenewsheadlines.com/4708/school-bus-crashes-into-duplex-in-st-cloud/bus-crashes/ School Bus Crashes Into Duplex In St. Cloud | Transport Disasters

    […] Read the full story about School Bus Crashes Into Duplex In St. Cloud […]

  • Gloria

    One poster wrote that obviously the children in the taxi were going to a different school; no, the article states that the bus and taxi were transporting student to Talahi Elementary.

    Hopefully, all the facts will be forthcoming; needless to say, everyone is very fortunate that nothing more serious occurred, and the residents of the duplex are very fortunate too.

  • mom

    well in my town if you live with in two miles of school you cant be bussed.Also if you live in one district and go to school. in another one you cant be bussed or you are charged mega for it.so lets not be one to judge on a taxi

  • Bob

    You all forgot one last item. The bus went through the intersection, over railroad tracks and up a grass embankment and hit the duplex. How fast was the bus going that it couldn’t stop before hitting the duplex?

    • Swamp Rat

      How fast was the taxi traveling to T-Bone, at the drivers compartment, the bus? The driver though hurt was trying to maintain control of his bus.

      Let’s wait for all the facts to come in!!

    • The Outdoorsman

      She probably panicked and stomped her right foot to the floor while bracing herself. It’s a very common reaction during an impact.

  • jld

    Possibly the kids missed the boss and mom/dad were already at work? Who knows the circumstances; it seems weird to those that don’t do it or don’t need to, but it could be a necessity for some. Most important thing is, all seem to be OK.

  • http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2011/05/16/5-released-from-hospital-after-st-cloud-crash/ 5 Released From Hospital After St. Cloud Crash « CBS Minnesota

    […] CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — Four children and the school bus driver who were hospitalized following a collision with a taxi Monday morning have been released from St. Cloud […]

  • jld

    I believe the story indicated he stopped but failed to pull forward; he was probably at one of those intersections where the stop sign is placed so far back from the intersection you need to stop at the sign and then pull forward and stop/yield prior to entering the intersection.
    As for why kids are in a taxi; who knows? We don’t know the circumstances of the family and therefore should not judge.

  • Gloria

    What my point was…is that the children in the taxi may have been picked up in an area or neighborhood where there’s a very small number of children attending Talahi Elementary, hence the alternate form of transportation. You folks are too much, really.

  • tj

    The collision sent the bus over a set of railroad tracks and into the building about 50 yards west.

    how fast was this bus going to travel 50 yards


    drunken con serves at the wheel?

  • Swamp Rat

    The bus driver was hurt but controled the vehicle to a safe stop. Unfortunately the Newtonian Laws of Physics ruled the finally outcome during the crash. The taxi driver had a history of speeding[3 tickets] on his record. Further accident research concerning what happened reveals the cabbie hit the bus hard just aft of the driver’s spot. At least no one got killed or seriously injured.

    Just wait and see what the cabbie gets charged with. I hope it isn’t pretty!

  • seb

    Wow, judgmental much? I have 40 students and I think only about 5 families own 1 car. All of the other families take public transportation, taxi., ride bike, or walk. Not a bad decision in this economy IMHO.

    Also, are there some “accidents” that should happen? I don’t understand your statement…

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    […] 5 Injured, 3 Displaced In St. Cloud School Bus Crash By Bill Hudson, WCCO-TV […]

  • jackson

    I have had to send my son to school in a taxi b4. Husband had already left for work and with only 1 car I had to either let him stay home or send him in a taxi. Is that okay or am I a bad parent for wanting my son to go to school? And lets not forget that sometimes they have substitute drivers and they sometimes miss bus stops. or does that not sound right to you either?

  • Mama J

    I’m guessing that gtV has enough money to rent a limo when their kids miss the bus. must be rough being so perfect.

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