MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Officials in northern Minnesota said state troopers had to use a tire deflation device on a school bus Wednesday afternoon after the driver suffered a medical emergency.
The Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office said the incident involved a bus from Isle Public School District and that none of the 11 children on-board suffered injuries.
The driver, 68-year-old Scott Gilbertson of Isle, was brought to Riverwood Health Care Center in Aitkin following the incident. His condition was not stated, nor was the type of medical emergency he suffered.
The sheriff’s office said that a deputy first noticed something was wrong with Gilbertson’s bus shortly before 4 p.m. The vehicle was traveling north on Highway 47 near Malmo at an extremely slow speed.
The deputy turned his emergency lights on and tried to stop the bus. But the vehicle didn’t stop. Swerving from fog line to fog line, the bus continued going north.
The deputy continued to follow the bus, often driving in the opposite lane of traffic to warn on-coming motorists of the situation, the sheriff’s office said. At one point, the bus stopped in the middle of the highway, and the deputy approached on foot.
But as he got close, the bus drove away. Shortly after, a student on-board called 911 and reported that the driver was having a medical emergency.
Just south of Glen, the State Patrol laid down the tire deflation device. The bus hit it, and after more swerving in the north and southbound lanes, it came to rest in a ditch on the west side of the highway.
Immediately, personnel from the sheriff’s office and the State Patrol were on the scene. The bus driver quickly received medical attention.
The entire incident lasted about 15 minutes. It remains under investigation.