No injuries in bus incident

Principal praises students for their actions after driver suffers medical emergency

LAKE ELMO — A principal praised the actions of students after the driver of a bus the children were riding suffered a medical emergency Tuesday afternoon and the vehicle ended up in a ditch across from the school.

No one was injured in the incident involving a bus taking nine Oak-Land Junior High School students to nordic ski practice at Stillwater Area High School. A Washington County Sheriff’s Office supervisor said the unidentified bus driver was taken to an area hospital for observation.

Oak-Land JHS Principal Andy Fields said an Independent School District 834 crisis team responded to the school after the incident, contacted the students’ parents and had them pick up the students at the school. Fields added that he also sent out an email message to parents notifying them of the incident.

“Nobody was hurt. While the kids were excited about going to ski practice, we decided it was best to send them home with their parents,” he said.

The WCSO supervisor said the incident was reported about 2:40 p.m. Tuesday. Deputies arriving at the scene found the undamaged bus resting in a snowbank on Manning Avenue across from Oak-Land.

Fields said the bus driver apparently experienced a medical situation as the bus was leaving the school to take the Oak-Land students to SAHS.

“The bus came to a stop in a ditch across from the school,” he said. “It would have been on the east side of Manning Avenue. It crossed Manning completely and ended up in a ditch.”

Fields said he was told by responding sheriff’s deputies that the driver was conscious when taken to the hospital.

Fields also praised how the Oak-Land students on the bus acted during and after the incident.

“They acted heroically. They responded with an amazing poise and acted heroically,” he said.

Several students checked on the bus driver’s condition after the vehicle came to a rest in the snowbank, according to Fields.

“There were some students that responded above and beyond the call of duty,” he said.