A freight train and a school bus carrying 13 students collided Monday in northeast North Dakota, killing the bus driver and a 17-year-old student, authorities said. The 12 other students on the bus were injured, some of them seriously.
The crash occurred about 3:46 p.m. (4:46 p.m. ET) on a gravel road near Larimore, about 20 miles west of Grand Forks, when the bus was struck on the right front side by the westbound BNSF Railway train, the state Highway Patrol said in a statement. The bus was transporting students from the Larimore Public Schools. The Highway Patrol wouldn't identify the victims, but it said the driver was 62 years old.
The 12 survivors were taken to Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, where some were being treated for serious injuries Monday night.
The crossing isn't marked with flashing lights or a crossing arm, but it does have a stop sign, Highway Patrol Lt. Troy Hischer told NBC station KVLY of Grand Forks, and the train had the right-of-way. "The bus driver did not stop short of the stop sign," Hischer said. "He entered the tracks is what he did — entered the railway right-of-way and was struck by the train."
"It is a terrible accident," he said.
— M. Alex Johnson