MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Both of the drivers involved in a school bus crash that sent multiple students to the hospital have been identified.
According to Bemidji school officials, school bus No. 25 was involved in the accident at around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Movil Lake Road and Irvine Avenue north of Bemidji. A passenger car struck the rear of the bus, which led to it landing in the west ditch on its side.
Sheriff Phil Hodnapp says the driver of the passenger car was unfamiliar with the area, drove through a stop sign and crashed into the bus.
Superintendent Dr. Jim Hess says many students suffered bumps and bruises as the bus tipped on its side. One student was airlifted for medical treatment and five others were taken from the accident scene in an ambulance.
Hodnapp said the male victim who was airlifted had his armed pinned between a bus seat and a window when the bus rolled on the ditch. Hodnapp said it took a while to extradite him from the bus before he was airlifted.
On Thursday, the driver of the passenger car was identified as 29-year-old Thomas Lee Nielson of Tennessee. He was also injured in the crash and taken to the hospital in serious condition. His current condition is unknown.
The driver of the bus was also identified Thursday as 47-year-old Patrick Russell Stout of Bemidji.
The Minnesota State Patrol is assisting the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office with reconstructing the accident as the investigation continues.