MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two young cousins are lucky to be alive after walking away from a bus crash that killed a 48-year-old man.
Xavion Bell, 17, and River Bryant, 12, were two of a handful of people on a Metro Transit bus in St. Paul when it was struck by a driver, who’s car went through the bus.
Bell and Bryant say they often ride the bus together to go catch a movie — that’s what they were doing last night when the crash happened. Xavion says he doesn’t know if he’ll ride a bus again.
“It happened instantly,” Xavion said.
The two boys had only been on the bus for about a minute — enough time to jokingly argue about where to sit.
“I try to get on his nerves, because his favorite seat is the far back,” River said.
The far back would end up being a lucky choice. Just two blocks into their trip down Dale Street, the unthinkable happened.
“We’re driving, and I didn’t even see the car,” Xavion said. “The car came out of nowhere. I just saw it come inside. It just came in.”
A car — driven by 26-year-old Tyler Bjelland — blew through the stop sign at Charles Avenue and Dale Street. He hit a median and went airborne, crashing into and through the Metro Transit bus the boys were on.
Kiki Usuda Use-dah lives on the corner.
“I heard a noise — I knew it was a serious car accident,” she said. “I was in shock. I called 911 right after.”
The boys say the car looked like it was on fire. Xavion helped his younger cousin get off first, through the gaping hole left by the car. He says he then helped others before he jumped out, walking away with just a few bruises and scratches.
Kenneth J. Foster, a 48-year-old passenger on the bus, died and a 19-year-old is in critical condition. The boys say they feel lucky to be alive, but healing mentally may take longer
“It kind of made me not want to take the transit anymore,” River said.
Police say the driver had been fleeing the scene of another accident just a few blocks away when he crashed into the bus. He injured his legs in the accident. Police suspect he may have been drinking. He’s been arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide.