By Reg Chapman

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Two students and a teacher’s aide are recovering Monday night after a school bus crash.

The accident happened near the intersection of Birmingham and Minnehaha in St. Paul. Witnesses watched as the bus side-swiped several cars before coming to a rest inches away from the Dayton Bluff’s Post Office.

There were 20 kids on board, heading to Westside Summit Charter School. Witnesses say the bus was heading westbound on Minnehaha when something went wrong.

They say they watched as the bus hit car after car, then caught wind as it hit a curb before crashing inches away from the post office.

“I pretty much saw the bus driver heading towards my car,” Darnell Singleton said.

Singleton says he is lucky to be alive to tell his story. He had just gotten out of his car and watched as an out of control bus headed towards him. He says the back of the bus ripped off his driver’s side door.

Singleton says he watched in horror as the bus continued on its destructive path.

“It clipped that car right there,” Singleton said.

The bus hit three cars parked along Minnehaha Avenue. Blake Woodward was pumping gas at the station across the street.

“Then he hit this curb here and he did a wheeling with the bus. He slammed down, we see all the kids in the air and we see the axle go back and we thought he was going to go through the post office,” Woodward said.

The bus stopped inches from the building, its front axle lying close by. Woodward ran to see if he could help the children on board.

“They are crying and screaming,” Woodward said.

Medics were there within seconds.

“There were 20 kids on the bus at the time of the accident. Medics responded to the scene and transported two of the kids, ages 8 and 10, to the hospital as a precautionary measure,” Steve Linders with the St. Paul Police Department said.

An adult aide was also taken to the hospital. None of the injuries appear to be life-threatening.

“We’re not sure what happened whether it was weather, whether it was medical or mechanical issues. We’ll hopefully get to the bottom of that and find out what happened,” Linders said.

Investigators say alcohol or drugs did not play a role in this accident. The driver of the bus is cooperating. The bus was heading to school at Westside Summit Charter School. A spokesperson told WCCO the children have a few bumps and bruises but should be fine.

Reg Chapman

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