3 dead after car collides with school bus in Inver Grove Hei - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

3 dead after car collides with school bus in Inver Grove Heights

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  • Investigators: 'I didn't see the bus…'

    Investigators: 'I didn't see the bus…'

    Saturday, November 17 2012 6:36 PM EST2012-11-17 23:36:54 GMT
    Wallace Hammick Sr. couldn't believe what he was seeing. "I said, 'This guy's going to hit this bus," Hammick recalled, remembering an accident he witnessed last September on northbound Highway 65 in
    When parents send their kids to school on the bus, they want to believe their children will have a safe trip -- but the Minnesota State Patrol and school bus companies tell the FOX 9 Investigators that drivers are smashing into the backs of buses more than ever before.

Three people were killed in a fiery head-on collision between a car and a school bus Friday afternoon.

The crash happened just after 4 p.m. near 77th Street and Argenta Trail in Inver Grove Heights.

The car smashed into the bus head on before bursting in flames, killing three people in the car and leaving a mess of mangled metal behind.

Fortunately, the school bus was empty at the time. The bus driver had just dropped off the last few kids in a nearby neighborhood just seconds before the crash.

Jonathan Weber caught video of the car engulfed in flames.

"The fire was over the top of the bus," he recalled. "If you look at the bus, you can see the back side is pretty well charred on the one corner of it."

Weber also watched as the bus driver, who was shaken up but not seriously hurt, spoke with police to let them know at least one person was inside the flaming vehicle.

Inver Grove Heights Police are not releasing the names of the people in the car until they can contact family members, but a friend and colleague of the victims spoke with FOX 9 News, saying the deaths are taking an emotional toll on the community.

"It was shared," said Marvin Emeott. "We were crying and hugging each other."

Emeott said he had worked with the driver of the car, telling FOX 9 News she had been a bus driver herself. He said she had been out for a few errands with her two young grandchildren at the time of the crash.

All witnesses who spoke with FOX 9 News pointed out that the intersection is a busy one in the area, and Emeott added that he hates driving on that stretch of roadway.

"From a safety standpoint, this is terrible -- finding lanes, that's what concerns me most," he said. "Almost need barriers between lanes -- and the lighting at that time of night, terribly hard with sunlight this time of year."

The victims family gathered at the intersection after the crash to place crosses in honor of their lost loved ones. The crosses bore the names mom, Laela, Gion and the date of the crash.

Emeott said what makes the loss hurt even more is the proximity of the crash to Thanksgiving, which is when families should come together to celebrate instead of mourn a multi-generational funeral.

Investigators are still trying to piece together what caused the crash.


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