Injuries reported in crash as school bus waited on Marion Road
A Rochester school bus driver is calling it a miracle that a three-vehicle crash Monday morning wasn't worse.
The Olmsted County Sheriff's Office is investigating the scene of the crash, which happened about 9:25 a.m. in the 3300 block of Marion Road Southeast. One woman was taken by a Mayo Clinic helicopter to be treated for injuries, and another had to be extricated from her vehicle. The other people involved had no apparent injuries.
The school bus, driven by Patrici Felsted, was stopped in the northbound lane of traffic on Marion Road to pick up a student at the Hiawatha Mobile Home Village. Two vehicles were stopped behind the bus when a third vehicle came around the curve, lost control and rear-ended the two stopped vehicles, Felsted said.
"I saw the green vehicle fly over the other two and that one come shooting out," said Barb Beyer, a paraprofessional with the district who rides the bus to ensure that the students stay safe. "It came through the air over the top of her car. I grabbed my cell and called 911 and said 'accident on Marion Road, send ambulances.' I knew there was going to be injuries."
Carmen Heckel, a senior, was the only student on the bus, which typically transports four special needs students to summer school classes at Mayo High School.
"I didn't see anything," Heckel said. "I heard a crash and jumped."
Felsted said it's a miracle that none of the vehicles hit the bus, including one driven by David Brehmer of rural Eyota, who was stopped directly behind the bus.
It's also a miracle that the boy wasn't outside waiting for the bus because one car was thrown into the gravel driveway and grass where the boy usually waits.
"He hasn't missed a day yet," Felsted said.
"There was a reason he didn't come today," Beyer said.
Margo Jordahl-Kruger, who runs a nearby daycare, said the 55-mph road is a dangerous place for buses to stop. Her fourth-grade daughter was in a bus accident at that same location when she was in kindergarten, she said.