Teen had been detained moments before crash

November 18, 2018

BYRON — A Rochester teenager had reportedly been detained by Olmsted County Sheriff’s deputies minutes before he allegedly hit a 5-year-old girl crossing the street.

The 17-year-old’s name has not been released by the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office as he has not yet been charged nor arrested. The young man is also a minor and will likely not face felony charges in relation to the crash.

Just before 3 p.m. Wednesday, Olmsted County deputies were sent to a crash involving a vehicle that hit a pedestrian at Fourth Avenue Northeast near the intersection of 10th Street Northeast.

A 5-year-old girl had been crossing the street after getting off the school bus when she walked into the car, fell down and had her leg run over by the back wheel, according to Olmsted County Sheriff’s Sgt. Kirby Long.

Capt. Scott Behrns said in a news release on Thursday that statements from witnesses indicated that the Toyota Highlander driven by the 17-year-old went past the activated stop arm and warning lights for the school bus and struck the girl as she was crossing in front of the bus.

Following the crash, the teen reportedly got out of his vehicle, checked on the girl and then went and apologized to the girl’s mother before getting back into his vehicle and leaving the scene, Long said.

He could face gross misdemeanor charges of failing to stop for a school bus arm and failing to stay at the scene of an injury accident. He could also face a misdemeanor charge of failing to provide information at the scene of an accident.

The girl was taken to the hospital by a parent and has since returned home. She suffered bruising to her arms and legs.

The teen driver had been detained by deputies earlier Thursday after they had been sent to a nearby burglary in progress, Long said. Shortly after the crash, the teen returned where he had been detained with his father, according to Long.

Failing to stop for school bus stop arms is a chronic problem throughout Minnesota.

Statistics provided to the Post Bulletin by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety show that from 2011 to 2016, law enforcement across the state wrote nearly 9,000 stop-arm violation citations.

A national survey of school bus drivers showed that in 2018, 2,802 Minnesota school bus drivers reported 583 stop arm violations in one day. The Minnesota State Patrol coordinates the survey in Minnesota on behalf of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services.

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