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State Patrol, bus company concerned about crashes

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news Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Crashes raise concern with State Patrol and bus company

BAXTER — A look at crashes involving Reichert’s Bus Service in Baxter raises concern by the company and the State Patrol. Troopers and Commercial Vehicle Inspectors respond to school bus crashes investigated by all agencies to perform post-crash inspections. According to records offered by Mike Moran of Reichert Bus Service to Commercial Vehicle Inspector Christopher Norton, since the beginning of the 2008 – 2009 school year there were about 13 crashes with company buses.

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About nine of those crashes were other motorists crashing into the rear of the buses, many of which occurred at railroad crossings and other locations when the buses were stopping or stopped as required. Two of the past three years three crashes, one year shows four crashes and there have been three crashes this school year already, prompting the concern.

“We are always concerned about school bus issues especially when these are crashes that can be easily prevented if drivers are paying attention and there are still a few months left of school,” said Brainerd Police Chief Corky McQuiston, in a news release.

Even though these area crashes were not serious, State Patrol Sgt. Jim Senenfelder said: “Inattentive / distracted driving issues are a huge problem with the motoring public. Drivers need to pay extra attention and to not be distracted when driving around school buses because they are carrying a precious cargo, our children.”

Reichert Bus Service CEO Mike Moran agrees with Senenfelder said: “It is the nature of school buses to be making multiple and frequent stops and our drivers would appreciate more cooperation and caution from the motoring public when driving near our buses.”

Crash details:

School year 08-09:

• Intersection crash with the bus hit in the side northeast Brainerd; car spun out on ice and hit bus in front tire on County Highway 48; rear-end crash into bus at railroad crossing at Highways 371 – 210; rear-end while bus was stopped in left turn lane at Highways 18 and 25.

School year 09-10:

• Intersection crash in northeast Brainerd, rear-ended at County Road 48 and Chestnut; rear-ended at Highway 18 and Oak Street.

School year 10-11:

• Vehicle ran red light and hit mini bus in back quarter at Highway 371 and County Highway 48; rear-end collision while bus was in the left turn lane at South Sixth and Oak streets; rear-end crash while bus was stopped in traffic at Laurel and Fifth streets.

School year 11-12:

• Washington and First Avenue rear-end collision at railroad crossing; rear-end crash at railroad crossing on Highway 371-210; rear-end crash at intersection at Highway 210 and Mill Avenue.

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