Police in Minnesota scrambled to rescue 11 children from a runaway school bus after the driver fell ill behind the wheel, sending the vehicle hurtling out of control.
A sheriff deputy in Aitkin County, Minnesota, was able to record the harrowing incident on her dashcam after spying the bus swerving across the road. According to Aitkin County Sheriff Scott Turner, the deputy witnessed the bus’ movements as they slowly developed into an emergency.
“She first saw the vehicle within its lane weaving a little bit. She thought ‘that’s not right.’ She turned her lights on trying to stop it and the weaving became more pronounced.”
The deputy turned on her siren to warn other motorists as she trailed the school bus, which was traveling around 40 mph. At one point, the bus veered out of control, entering a ditch and nearly tipping over before miraculously remaining upright. Later in the pursuit, an oncoming car was forced to reverse down the road, seeking the shelter of a driveway to shield it from the out-of-control bus. As she followed the runaway vehicle, the deputy did what she could to warn other drivers.
“Getting around the bus in the opposite lane to alert vehicles that were ahead of the bus. Warning about a problem in the roadway and warning them to get out of the way.”
— WFMY News 2 (@WFMY) February 13, 2015
Several of the students called or texted their parents to alert them to the situation, while others dialed 911. After a dramatic 14-minute-long pursuit that covered five and a half miles, a state trooper used stop sticks to bring the runaway bus to a halt in a ditch in the town of Glen. The driver, 68-year-old Scott Gilbertson, was rushed to a hospital, suffering from an undisclosed medical condition that prevented him from stopping the bus. None of the children were hurt during the pursuit, though authorities allowed that they were certainly shaken.
— Global News Toronto (@globalnewsto) February 13, 2015
“That’s not something any of us would expect when we hop in any vehicle, let alone a school bus,” one student noted.
Earlier this week, a school bus driver from Ohio was removed from service by the company that employed her after she posted a selfie online. In the photo, she appeared to be drinking alcohol while in her bus, though upon closer examination, it became clear that the bottle was still sealed.
There is no word on the condition of the runaway school bus’ driver.
[Image: Twitter/ Fox 9 News]