BAXTER - A 7-year-old Brainerd girl suffered severe injuries after the car she was a passenger in collided with a Walker-Hackensack-Akeley school bus Monday in Baxter.
The crash happened about 6 p.m. at Crow Wing County Road 48 and State Highway 371 in south Baxter.
The girl, Madeline A. Gibbons, suffered a head injury and was taken in critical condition by North Air Care to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, the State Patrol reported. Additional information on her condition was unavailable from the hospital late Monday.
The driver of the car, Carol Schwarzkopf, 64, Baxter, suffered cuts to her face and was treated at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd.
The State Patrol reported Schwarzkopf's car was eastbound on Crow Wing County Road 48 and went through a red light at Highway 371. The bus, carrying one teacher and 11 students, was northbound on Highway 371 and struck the rear of the car, spinning it into a Ford Expedition that was stopped on County Road 48.
The car, a Pontiac Bonneville, came to rest in the westbound turn lane of County Road 48, it's right rear passenger side crushed in from the collision with the school bus.
A passenger in this sedan, a 7-year-old girl, suffered severe injuries after the vehicle collided with a school bus Monday night at Crow Wing County Road 48 and Highway 371 in Baxter.
Brainerd Dispatch/Matt Erickson
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A North Air Care helicopter landed on the southbound lanes of Highway 371 to transport Gibbons, Brainerd Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Stunek said. Traffic in the southbound lane was backed up to College Road for about 30 minutes following the crash.
The driver of the bus, James Ryan, 69, Walker, and the driver of the Ford Expedition, Becky Smith, 38, Baxter, were not injured, the State Patrol reported.
The bus was stopped in the outside northbound lane of Highway 371 and appeared to have minor damage. A North Ambulance crew tended to the students at the scene. Stunek said none were transported to the hospital.
Wally Schoeb, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley superintendent, said three of the high school students on the bus suffered minor injuries in the crash.
Injuries suffered by the students on the bus included a bruised eye, bruised shoulder and a bruised back. The three students were treated at the scene by emergency personnel and were able to return to Walker on the bus with their classmates Monday night.
The students, along with their families and consumer science teacher Rita Berry, were returning to Walker from a cooking show in the Twin Cities area.
Schoeb said Berry told him that the students were handling the situation well, considering what they'd gone through.
"We're just thankful there were no serious injuries to the students on the bus and the chaperones," Schoeb said. "Your first concern is how bad were the people hurt. You're always concerned about the safety of the kids."
The State Patrol was assisted by the Baxter Police Department, the Brainerd Police Department and Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department.
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