JOHNSTOWN, N.D. (AP) — The identical twin brother of a Larimore school bus driver who died in a collision with a freight train said the family is grief-stricken over a student’s death in Monday’s crash.
Max Danner had previous heart trouble that required a bypass and a pacemaker but otherwise was in good health, Mel Danner told The Associated Press on Wednesday. He also said he can’t believe his brother wouldn’t stop for the railroad crossing or would try to outrun the train.READ MORE: Clean Car Debate At Minnesota Capitol May Lead To Summer Closures Of State Parks, Trails
Student Cassidy Sandstrom, 17, also was killed and 12 more students were injured.
“Our family has lived here almost 100 years and we know everybody,” Mel Danner said. “It’s sad enough for us. But we are so sad that somebody else is involved in it.”
Three students remained at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks on Wednesday morning, down from four Tuesday evening, spokeswoman Lindsey Reznicek said. A total of four students have been discharged. Altru would not say where three other students were transferred.
Authorities said the likely cause of the crash was driver error on the part of Max Danner.READ MORE: Marietta's Salt Lake Is A Paradise For Birds And Bird Watchers
The brothers, 62, had farmed together near Johnstown since their father was killed in a car accident when they were 14. They lived in separate houses.
Max taught school for 30 years, had a family and led an active FFA chapter, so he knew all the children on the bus and cared about them.
“He would do anything not to put those kids in danger,” he said. “I can’t imagine he would be foolish enough not to stop at a railroad track. … You can’t beat a train with a school bus.”
Mel Danner said two citations from Phoenix on his brother’s driving record were dismissed because other people were driving a pickup registered by him. One of his brother’s sons was driving the truck when it ran a red light, and an accident that totaled the pickup was caused by his nephew’s girlfriend.MORE NEWS: COVID In MN: Gov. Walz To Announce On Thursday His Timeline To End All Restrictions
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