A mother’s teaching saves a girl by the side of the road

No matter what happens the rest of the way, Tracy Adams can well be considered one great mother.

She’s the mother of the sixth-grader who was standing by the side of the road in Hawick, Minnesota, when the school bus pulled up and this happened.

Thinking about what might have been is enough to make you shake your head, close your eyes, and turn away from it all.

It’s pure chance that Alexis Schwartz isn’t dead. Or is it?

This one paragraph in today’s Star Tribune article reveals why she’s still alive.

Her mother had taught her to wait back a distance from the road until the bus stopped and then walk to it. Friday, Schwartz turned her head and saw the semi bearing down, she said.

The driver of the truck reportedly has turned himself in.

  • MrE85

    As a whole, professional drivers are a very safety-minded lot. I just can’t imagine what this driver was thinking. Thank God for moms, smart daughters and dashcams.

    One woman from Blaine has a unique solution for this sort of problem. Here is her LTE from today’s Strib:

    Nagging problem: Trucks at rush hour

    Many years ago, the Legislature was considering a law that would have forbidden semitrailer trucks to drive during rush hour. The trucking industry promised that if that law was not passed, truckers would not drive during rush hour. At first this worked well. But truckers have gradually taken over the roads during rush hour. Consider an accident this winter on Interstate 394 in which both lanes were blocked by accidents involving semis. Semis: Stay off the roads during rush hour so that those of us that are trying to get to work can do so in a timely manner.

    Barbara Boyce, Blaine

  • MrsSmith

    Honestly, he may not have seen her at all – he was distracted by something that kept him from seeing the bus stopping, and when he reacted to save his life, and went around the bus he was only looking at the road ahead of him and trying not to tip the truck over. He may not have known there was a child nearly struck until he saw the news reports.

    • Yes, he might not have realized he almost killed a kid, assuming that a stopped school bus, red lights flashing, a crossing arm extended, and a STOP sign doesn’t give him any sort of clue that maybe a kid is about to get on or off the bus.

      For the record, he didn’t turn himself in until the State Patrol released the video and it was being shown on every TV station and website in Minnesota with the phone number to call to reveal the guy’s identity.

      • Flattery

        lets let the investigation take it’s course and stop the one sided bias reporting and comments. I would expect more from MPR. I totally agree it was scary, but we should pass judgement yet. The important thing is that no one was hurt.

        • You know this is a blog, right? And that this isn’t reporting or a story? Yes? I’m just trying to understand the scenario you’re envisioning here in which the driver wasn’t at fault or nearly caused the death of a sixth grader? Because I’m a little confused about that.

          As for comments, you might be new here. I get to make them, I get to have them, because that’s one of the things we do in this space. Like a talk show. I don’t claim to be bias-free because no one is .One of mine is people who don’t pay attention and get other people killed.

          The authorities can decide what to do with him.

          It should be a lesson to all of us to smarten up when we’re behind a wheel.

          Because there was nothing here that can remotely be characterized as smart.

          • Flattery

            I did not say he wasn’t at fault. Distracted and careless driving is a fault. It is about intent. He may have been distracted and to avoid hitting a bus full of kids he may have made a split second dicision and swerved to miss the buss. Then while in shock he kept driving.

            Yes I realize it is a blog, but it is a blog from an MPR representative. Everything you do in public is as a MPR representative.

          • Right. And I’m pointing out that there is nothing — intent or otherwise — that mitigates or excuses almost killing a sixth grader. He’ll get his day in court as he should. In the meantime, we’re going to discuss it here.

            There’s nothing unethical about that and I gather the readers who have made NewsCut the most popular destination on the MPR website would likely agree.

            If you spend time watching this discussion, it might provide some clarity.

            http://bcove.me/8xf6v8d2

            If you can’t spend the entire hour, then between 9:50 and 14:00 should work.

          • Flattery

            Everyone is distracted while driving from time to time. Most of the time circumstances turn out fine and no close calls occure. many times nothing happens and people dont realize they were just in a distracted situation. If he were distract as happens to the best of us and then saw the buss with out time to think.

            If his only thought was “Oh NO! A buss! I need to not hit that buss full of kids or that car coming at me in the left lane. Then after starting to go around the buss to the right he then sees the 6th grader, but has no time for anything but to hope she doesnt walk out… or never saw her at all.

            My experience with MPR listeners is that they are not judgmental and they are open to all the facts.

            If this senario is the case, then we should cruisify all distracted driving for the sake of it being distracted driving, not just because of the result of almost killing someone.

            The fault is the distracted driving the unfortunate result is a matter of circumstance and wrong place at wrong time.

          • Sure. It could have happened just that way. But it probably didn’t because if his trailer had hit the kid, he likely wouldn’t have known it. And if, as you suggest, he saw the kid, then he wasn’t much interested in finding out.

            And as I said earlier, the idea that he didn’t know there was a kid there probably requires a suspension of disbelief, given, as I said, the bus, the cross arm extended, the red flashing lights, and the stop sign.

            So under your scenario he would have first (a) been so distracted as to not see the bus in the first place and (b) Once he saw the bus not have made the connection to the presence of school children despite the fact we’re taught fro our first driving school class about this or (c) he did see the kid but didn’t stop to see if she was OK.

            I think it’s great to be open to facts. Those are all facts. I think the facts in this case are pretty clear because they’re right there for everyone to see.

            He may well not have had time to stop, given his inattentive driving. But he sure had time to stop afterwards and he sure knew there was a bus there then considering that (a) the driver honked (b) the red lights were still flashing (c) he’d already almost driven off the road (d) there was still a stop sign and (e) there was still an extended cross arm.

            And he STILL didn’t think that MAYBE there was a kid about to get on that bus, given all those things? And that maybe she might not be OK and that MAYBE he should stop to find out.

            But nope. Kept right on driving.

            The courts, hopefully, will get to the “why” of it. But nothing is going to change the “what” of it.

          • Flattery

            Really? You think if he is looking off to the left at something or down at something and suddenly looks up… you think he is going to notice all those things at a glance. Second just because a bus is stopped with the lights on and stop sign out doesn’t mean there are any kids there yet. There are way too many assumptions right now.

            I recall a time I almost hit a dear. I was looking off to the left and suddenly a dear appeared from the right and was right in front of my car. I had no time to think. I didn’t even touch my break… I simply closed my eyes as a reaction and then I opened them and nothing. I don’t know where the dear went or anything. I was in shock and kept on driving for at least 5 minutes before I pulled over and checked things over to make sure I didn’t hit some part of it somewhere.

            If you have never experienced a terrifying situation like that, then you can’t judge others who have.

            I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have stopped… I would have just kept on driving and been saying “OMG OMG OMG… I almost hit a bus full of kids OMG OMG.”

            There are very few facts in this case that we can see from the camera. I am sure the bus driver had the stop arm out, but do we really know that for sure? Is there proof of that? Maybe there is, but people rush to negative judgments too fast.

            I believe the best in people and that generally people are aiming to do good, but sometimes bad things happen to good people.

          • I’m, again, perplexed by your desire to create so many unlikely scenarios to explain what is clearly a gross violation of driving by any reasonable standard. And, of course, by the law.

            Let’s look at the video once more. Scroll to 5 seconds. That kid ain’t exactly hiding.

            Also: Look at the highway markings. That’s a passing lane. And this being central Minnesota, it’s probably a long flat stretch.

            Did he look away for just a moment? Well he was certainly doing something because he wasn’t paying attention and probably hadn’t been for quite awhile.

            He might be the world’s greatest semi driver. But at that moment, and on that road, he certainly wasn’t.

            The other thing that’s interesting is for how long he continued to drive in the breakdown lane.

            It’s interesting to me that it’s a sleeper cab, so perhaps this is a long-haul trucker who’s been driving all night. I don’t know.

            There are, as you’ve pointed out, any number of excuses for why he was, at that moment, a particularly dangerous man to be on the road. But for safety purposes, not a single one of them is valid.

            For the record, I’ve never barreled down a road at 50 mph, failed to see stopped school bus, swerved over to a lane, almost killed a kid, and failed to stop when my inattention was called to my attention by a guy leaning on a horn.

          • Flattery

            Have you ever drove down an empty highway and admired something on the side of the road? A nice landscape or house perhaps? Well just because the road was empty at the time, if you took your eyes off the road long enough something or someone could have walked or drove out in front of you. Just because you have been lucky to not have been in any close calls doesn’t make your distracted moments any safer. If you have never taken your eyes off the road then I applaud you for being of the very rare few.

            I have a hard time believing that anyone would purposefully pass a stopped bus on the shoulder without some reason for lapse in judgement. I find that senario far more unbelievable than mine.

            Such a blatent distrust in people surprises me. He may very well be of the few purely crazy people out there or it may be something else.

            So I am holding all judgement until difinitive proof is given. There are a million reasons for people not to think straight that do not make him a monster.

            Please hold judgement and ruin his name without knowing ALL the facts.

          • I’m unaware of anybody claiming the trucker intentionally tried to run down a little girl. Clearly, he was driving inattentively. I don’t see how anyone could reasonably claim otherwise. End of story. He was driving badly and, obviously, dangerously.

            The “why’s”.of that don’t really change that fact.

            He assumed responsibility when he got his license and now he”ll have to face the consequences of the choices he made, if any.

            That may include finding a new profession, depending on whether he’s a driver for a company. We”ll see.

          • Flattery

            exactly… and with those facts he is no worse than the majority of the rest of us, therefore there is no reason to demonize him. His unattentive driving may have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

          • I can appreciate your sharing your experiences on the highway and unquestionably there are some horrible drivers out there. But I think you might be overstating how bad “the rest of us.”.are.

            The guy isn’t an innocent bystander. Be had responsibility to drive responsibly. The jails are full of people who also abdicated that responsibility, even for a moment. As well they should be.

            That was a young kid. And driving isn’t a game.

            Tough love, but that’s the way it is.

          • Flattery

            Ok, then we should demonize ever person who ever has had an accident on the road that caused a death because they are all caused by neglegence, unattentive driving, failure to maintain a vehicle or something else preventable.

            But I think sometimes accidents, neglegence and many other mistakes happen that and caused by many good people.

          • I’m sure Mrs. Senser was a nice person but she did wrong and a family was deprived of a breadwinner.

            One in 7.*Minnesotans has a DWI conviction and we keep getting in cars drunk and killing people’s parents, wives, husbands, and children. And no matter how many we kill, we keep doing it because people say, “oh, well, it coulda Halle.ed to me.”

            And they never get it. It SHOULDN’T almost happen to you You know not to drive drunk, you know not to text, you know you shouldn’t take your eyes off the road.

            And yet people do it because there’s always going to be people to excuse the behavior and make you the victim.

            And that’s pretty much the definition of pathetic.

          • Flattery

            Drinking and driving is against the law. Taking your eyes off the road is not. If you say you have never taken your eyes off the road while driving, then you are a lier.

            At first I was unhappy with you quick judgement against the driver without all the facts, but now I am enraged with your uncomprimising, and stubornly rude attitude toward MPR listeners and your failure to see more than one potetial view but your own.

            You stick to one side of the store and are unwilling to entertain or mentally explore any other points of view.
            This kind of journalism has no place in my life and my MPR donations will be stopping soon.

            I can find a chairity more open and deserving of my chairity.

          • We are not without facts here only the SPECIFIC action that constituted inattentive and irresponsible driving.

            What we witnessed in the video is the manifestation of that inattention. That’s a fact.

            The “other side” of this story in this context , then, is that you either excuse that inattention or you don’t. On this point, I’m with the public safety people in their ongoing efforts to try to knock some sense into us before another sixth grader has to die simply for going to school in the morning.

            We accept this responsibility when we got our driver’s licenses. And truckers, in particular, are required to periodically prove their fitness for the task for a good reason.

          • Flattery

            He may totally be a demon and 100% at fault, but I believe he is innocent until proven guilty and no matter how unlikely it may be there are circumstance that could lead him to be less at fault then the video and you suggest.

            Let me point out a few facts that were stated that we do not know are facts:

            1. “The fact he just kept going pretty much tells the story of this gentleman. He didn’t even stop to see if the girl was OK.” – Truth, if I almost hit a bus full of kids I would be so in shock that I could see myself just continue drive. I would probably go home and be like “OMG, I could have killed all those kids. I would have needed time to think about what happened so the fact that he kept driving does not tell the story of this gentleman. He could have kept driving for a number of reasons.

            2. Assuming that a stopped school bus, red lights flashing, a crossing arm extended, and a STOP sign doesn’t give him any sort of clue that maybe a kid is about to get on or off the bus.” I didn’t read anywhere nor have I seen any proof that he actually had his stop sign out or lights flashing. I would say he most likely did, but I have seen buses fail to do this and simply saying it was done without proof is adding facts that we do not know yet.

            3. “Because there was nothing here that can remotely be characterized as smart.” Truth – we do not know his reasons therefor we cannot characterize his actions as anything.

            From my perspective it seems the driver was doing something really stupid. I don’t know what nor do I know if he really was doing anything stupid, so I am not going to demonize him yet, but I can give him credit for turning himself in. We know for sure as a fact that he turned himself in. That is a fact… We can speculate why, but we don’t really know why he turned himself in. The fact is he did.

            Lets report the facts: The fact is that he passed a bus on the right going high speeds while the bus was stopping for a 6th grader. The 6th grader did not get hit because she saw the semi and stayed back. Later after reports of the incident aired on TV, Radio, and the internet, the driver turned himself in. We do not know the reasons or circumstances behind how something this horrible could happen and almost ruined lives, but thankfully no one was harmed. I will reserve further judgement on the individuals involved until more information is released. But this should serve as a lesson to children, parents and drivers of all types out there to be cautious near and on road ways at all times.

          • HS English Teacher in MN

            Passing on the right is ILLEGAL. A child died a couple years ago in Crosslake because someone speeding through town did exactly what this trucker did, flew up behind a car and pulled out to the right.

            Sir, you keep going on and on about “demonizing,” but the guy BROKE A LAW. He wasn’t just messing around or reckless. He broke a law that was written to keep drivers from killing people.

            What he did is the traffic equivalent of blasting through a stop sign, texting while driving or driving drunk. He broke a law designed for our safety and nearly killed a kid. I hope you really don’t believe that most of us behave like that behind the wheel.

          • HS English Teacher in MN

            I live in a rural part of Minnesota. Part of my drive to work takes place on a highway. I often get to appreciate a sunrise coming up over a lake, eagles, and yes, deer in the ditch. Sometimes I don’t see the deer. But since I’m on highways in the morning, between 7:15 and 7:45 (prime time for school buses), I am always ready for them, especially because roads with regular routes often remind us that buses make frequent stops.

            I have nearly hit deer or skunks because I glanced away. But if you are following a bus, you really can’t miss it. It’s not like they suddenly appear. They are huge, lit up, and when they stop, with the crossing arm, flashing lights, stop sign, etc. — well, even if I glance away to admire a fox, deer, or neighbor’s yard (at 55 mph), I still know the bus is there. They don’t appear out of nowhere.

            When the bus stops, lit up with flashing lights, the only way the truck doesn’t see it (because you can from a considerable distance) is if the driver is extremely distracted, driving over the speed limit on that road, or there is another large vehicle following the bus that was blocking the view of the bus.

            But at any rate, yeah, passing on the right is SO ILLEGAL. Even if the driver is in shock, he/she should have stopped. I don’t care if it takes a person 400 yards to process what just happened. They should have stopped.

            A distracted driver passing on the right at a turn lane killed a little one a couple years ago up here. Stupid, preventable incident.

          • Flattery

            I realize that most people are stuck in there own paradigm and have a hard time looking past that. I believe that not only should people be open to other ideas and possibilities, but they should look for them. Maybe in some off the wall way he was actually trying to save lives. Very unlikely, but we don’t know. Out of fear we are so quick to pass judgement.

            As a society we seem to try to place blame quickly and we are more interested in finding someone to hang for the crime than we are to find the truth. Something bad happens and we don’t care why, we go straight to blame and a drive to punish. We tend to think everything is black and white when I think most things in life are grey.

            I try to listen to other points of view and I try to find more than one point of view. I try to find more than one possibility or option. But among the many angles I may look at something. I may come up with what I think is a likely scenario, but I don’t pass judgement until it is beyond a reasonable doubt and all the facts are examined.

            One of the biggest evils in our society is our quick to judge attitudes! Well the truth takes time!

            I know I will not change any world views or paradigm here, but I am glad to see a few other posters out there giving an alternative and not stuck on only one scenario.

          • Flattery

            I may even have my own idea of what really happened, but I am willing to look for alternatives and offer new ideas. Are you?

          • But, again, you”re trying to come up with a heroic action and that’s laudable, but it doesn’t change the basic fact of the story. The truck driver and only the truck driver had engaged in some sort of behaviour that put him in the position of claiming lives in the first place.

            You”re actually suggesting a n affirmative defense for the man for why he had to break the law. And that might work in a court on THAT possible charge . But it has no sway, if it had any at all on the previous, on the actions leading up to that point, which is basically driving to endanger.

            The “everybody does it” standard is a weak one. It obviously is also a dangerous one.

            I would also suggest that truckers need to be held to a significantly higher standard for obvious reasons.

            I”ve enjoyed the discussion.

          • Flattery

            OK, after sleeping on this. I want get back to and clarify my original point I wanted to make.
            What ever the circumstance or scenario, it is true that the driver is most likely at fault.

            But the point I am try to make is that doesn’t necessarily make the driver a bad guy, crazy driver, demon, stupid, idiot, moron or any other derogatory term that people are thinking or suggesting about him.

            It very well could have been a one time lapse or mistake that could have happened to anyone, which still puts him at fault, but doesn’t make him the demon people try to make him out to be.

          • DavidG

            You post 18 comments arguing the exact same point, and you complain about others being “stuck in their own paradigm?”

          • Flattery

            I have said he may be completely at fault. He may be an idiot. I am willing to accept these other points of view, but I have yet to see Bob Collins or many others ever go beyond their one point.

            I am trying to offer alternatives. Not one alternative, but many while all I hear from Bob is this guy is an idiot who shouldn’t be driving. Not in those exact words, but it is implied.

            Since posting, I have found many even more convincing alternate scenarios.

            Take a look at the responses here:

            http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/25687427/video-help-id-this-semi-involved-in-school-bus-incident

            and

            http://kstp.com/news/stories/S3461327.shtml

            Many are suggesting that the bus driver did not give proper notice to the intent to stop, but I will not elaborate, instead you can read these interesting scenarios for your self.

          • I’ve never said he was an idiot. But what’s odd is in the above message, you said he may be an idiot.

            I never said he was a bad person, I never demonized him (whatever that means). In fact, the only person using the words that you seem to object to — “moron” etc. — are the ones that you invoked.

            I said he was irresponsible and inattentive. I said there was nothing in his driving that could be characterized as smart.

            You seem unable or unwilling to separate the man’s driving from the man’s character. I don’t know the man — I’m starting to sense that, perhaps you do, however . I only know his driving on one particular stretch of road at one particular moment.

            I’m not responsible for Fox or KSTP — two sources I never use for news, or the twits and the trolls on their web site, who seem to be suggesting — if your characterization of the conversation there is accurate — that somehow the truck driver is the victim in this situation..

            I don’t know what else to tell you here. There is no scenario under which the video above happens as a result of responsible and attentive driving. There just isn’t and it’s absurd to expect anyone to prove their bona fides to you by considering that there is. I mean, gee, even your defense of the man’s driving acknowledges that he was inattentive, and merely seeks to excuse all the ways he became inattentive.

            So it seems an odd logic that you continue to ask us to accept a conclusion that this wasn’t inattentive driving.

  • mrs z

    Just a thought, but when is it legal to pass on the right? A professional driver would know. Thank God that girl was old enough to recognize an unsafe situation. It surely saved her life that day. The one good thing that I can say about that driver was that he turned himself in to face the consequences of his inattentive driving….. obviously a schoolbus on the road means that kids are present.

    • HS English Teacher in MN

      It is illegal to pass on the right in a turn lane (or on the shoulder).

  • JohnFerman

    Isn’t traffic in the shoulder lane prohibited? Are there not traffic rules specifying their use?

    • Right. it’s one of the most violated laws in Minnesota, i’d guess. Even when a car front of you is stopped to turn left, you can’t go in the breakdown lane.

      This guy didn’t even bother tapping the brake pedal, which, by the way, strikes me as the first instinct of any driver.

      • Dave

        How do you know he didn’t brake? We don’t see the truck until it’s past the bus. He may have braked while approaching the bus, then accelerated around it.

        • HS English Teacher in MN

          awesome, so the defense for this guy is that he didn’t brake because he was “accelerating around the bus?!!!???” Because I remember that day from driver’s ed. “kids, if you can’t stop… floor it. and if you are in shock, just keep on going.”

      • Flattery

        I have lived in Minnesota for 35 years and have seen people pass on the shoulder maybe twice in my life. To say it is one of the most violated laws in Minnesota seems to be a huge exaggeration.

        Also as Starquest says we don’t know if he hit the break, that is jumping to conclusions again and not facts.

  • disqus_ObJ1vJkBKJ

    Worst part about this? With the lenient laws in this state this guy won’t even lose his driving privileges over this incident. Case in point I personally knew a guy who had 3 DWI’S within 2 12 years of each other, he had a class A drivers license and never once lost it or his driving privileges. He did however pay a lot of money for his DIRT BAG attorney fees. That’s what really matters in this country $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    not the fact he/she almost killed a kid………….

    • I in 7 Minnesotans has a DWI conviction. And that’s just the ones they caught.

  • Jeff Krass

    Look at that. A parent being proactive teaching her child about basic safety vs. expecting everyone else to do it for her. Crap just happens people and YOU need to be responsible and proactive with teach YOUR kids about things like this.
    I’m willing to bet all of you have at some time in your lives almost caused an accident or did, by not paying attention- and I’m willing to bet not all of you stopped what you’re were doing to make sure the people around you were alright. Now that everything is on video we get to see a small portion of it, BTW.. The view is of a dash cam of a vehicle, might not be a bus and also we don’t if the lights were flashing and the stop sign was pulled out. I get annoyed about trucks on the roads also, but I get more annoyed when people get all up in arms every time something happens near a kid.

    • Flattery

      I totally agree. People need to withhold judgement without the facts.

      • Denise

        I’m confused as to why you’ve decided this semi driver is some hero that needs your endless, ongoing, over-reaching defense. This is ridiculous. Where else do you troll, Flattery?

        Or was this guy your cousin or something? When an incident and it’s related facts are ON VIDEO and all you can do is say “there may have been reasons he was distracted”, your argument is bizarre. There is absolutely no excuse for his actions, and he didn’t come forward until his picture was posted all over by law enforcement. If “he was distracted” is all you can come up with as an argument, it’s simply invalid.

        The person who needs protection here is the child who was almost killed, but you seem to have absolutely no empathy for her. What is going on in your head that you have spent so many hours (by your posting times) on here defending something that is, honestly, indefensible?

        • Flattery

          No. It just disgusts me that as soon as something bad happens people jump right to name calling and demonizing. We do not know why the semi driver did what he did so we can not say he is an idiot, a bad person, a demon or any other derogatory remark without know the facts and the intent.

          My argument is intent may not clear him legally, but it could clear him from being a bad person in general.

          It is pretty clear that the driver was most likely at fault, but it doesn’t make them a bad person. So why do so many people insist on demonizing the driver without knowing the entire story.

          The good news is we are not grieving anyone today… no one was hurt this time.

          The girl is safe and no harm was done. She has a good story to tell her friends and got some publicity. Sounds like a good day to me. I am happy with every day I am allowed to live again.

          • I’m unaware of any name calling and you keep using the term “demonizing” for some reason. Nobody is suggesting the man burn in hell. At best, we can conclude on that day, he was a very dangerous driver. Nobody said he was a bad husband, father, or even person. Nor even that he should be charged with a felony. He probably should be charged with misdemeanor inattentive driving, he may have to take a few refresher courses to reinforce the message, and his story should make the rest of us more conscientious about the way we drive, too, rather than just say “oh, he drives as poorly as I do so let’s cut him some slack.”

            Ideally, our response should be “I could kill a little girl if I don’t drive better and all of this lecturing from the state patrol about paying attention to my responsibility to drive has merit.” That would be a very productive response.

          • Flattery

            “Because there was nothing here that can remotely be characterized as smart.” is one thing you said and much of the rest of it is implied.

            You would have to be a complete idiot to just pass on the right of a stopping school bus because you were in a hurry or didn’t feel like stopping so to suggest there isn’t another reason is suggesting this driver is a complete idiot.

            To ask why he didn’t stop to check on the kid is suggesting he is heartless, when there may be actual alternatives.

          • For most of this discussion you seem to be lecturing us on facts, but here is an example where you’ve made them up — characterizing them as implications — and are asking us to defend something that originates from you. What is it you expect us to do with that?

            I’m not unaware of anyone here suggesting that this guy was in such a hurry that he intentionally passed on the right to get where he was going (if I did, that was in error). I think it’s pretty clear — and giving the driver the benefit of the doubt — that through his own driving, he got himself into a bad situation. Now, it might’ve been brilliant that his solution was to pass within inches of a little girl, but I don’t know. What I do know is it was hardly model and responsible driving that it came to THAT point.

            Is he “heartless” because he didn’t stop to check on the kid. I don’t know. That’s another word and conclusion you’ve leaped to.

            I mentioned that in response to your assertion that he didn’t know there were kids around a school bus that had stopped at 7:20 in the morning on a school day. And, as I mentioned in the photo I posted, the girl’s presence was pretty obvious.

            So, if he didn’t know there was a girl standing right there, with a stopped school bus, that might be further indication of inattention, complicating the situation already created by his inattention.

            If he DID know there was a girl there and he DID know that he might come within an inch of killing her, I’m just not sure “he was too shocked to stop” is a reasonable defense, and obviously it’s a loophole the Minnesota Legislature just decided to try to close in its recent session.

          • Flattery

            Ok, perhaps without seeing your face or hearing your tone of voice I may have misunderstood your intention. Perhaps you do understand that this driver may be a very good person who just happened to make a mistake that day. I could not see that in your text, but perhaps the intent was there.

            My first response when I saw this video was “OMG What an idiot!” after a while my next response was “Maybe there is some other explanation that I am missing.” In a search for that besides the ones I tried to reach for here some others that I have read out there are.
            -Perhaps he had mechanical failure.
            -Many suggest that you do not see the bus lights flashing in the rear view mirror until after the bus stops and that the bus stopped very quickly and that 2 cars on the opposite site did not slowdown for the bus either so there may be something else going on outside that we could not see such as the buses intentions were not obvious.
            -The driver could have easily not have seen the girl due to his perspective from behind the bus and while he was swerving around the bus he would have been very focused on not hitting the bus.

            Also I would suggest checking out some other news sites from time to time. It is good to have as many perspectives on things as possible even if and especially if they are competitors in the market and even if you may tend to disagree with them. I am far from a Fox fan, but I like to hear many perspectives.

            Now I will wait for your reply as to how ridiculous and preposterous my ideas are as you have done so many times before.

            I think I will end it here, but I would like to thank you for being such an open facilitator of competing and alternate views.

  • Adam Raymond Ravenhurst

    Crazy. I’ve seen a right hand shoulder pass like that probably about five times in 10 years of driving in Minnesota (mostly in the metropolitan area and outlying suburubs), usually on freeways to get to an offramp faster, but never in a situation quite like that.

    • HS English Teacher in MN

      used to happen up here alot (Brainerd Lakes area). Or it did until a child was killed in a situation like this. Highway runs through Merrifield and speed limit slows, but many drivers ignore it. There is one crosswalk in town. Cars were legally stopped for a bunch of kids — older cousins and toddlers crossing on the crosswalk. This guy came thundering up behind them, whipped around on the right side to pass, and killed a 3 year old up visiting his grandparents on Mother’s Day. http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2011/09/08/minn-man-gets-11-months-in-jail-for-boys-death/

  • ziggypop

    Well good for him for turning himself in.

  • Tom

    Granted, this is a blog and not a news article, but I have to say, this looks like something from the mainstream six o’clock news, not from MPR. I’ve come to expect better from you guys than to grab a non-story with a dramatic video and call it news. Yes, credit to the kid didn’t step out in front of the truck, shame on the truck driver who nearly caused a disaster (we don’t know why), thank God, nobody got hurt. Obviously, it’s become nothing but bait for people with an axe to grind, made up statistics (” it’s one of the most violated laws in Minnesota,”) and anecdotes “I have lived in Minnesota for 35 years and have seen people pass on the shoulder maybe twice in my life. To say it is one of the most violated laws in Minnesota seems to be a huge exaggeration.” I honestly regret the 15 minutes I spent on this.

    • Thanks for stopping by Tom. I’m sorry it’s not your cup of tea. Some other time, perhaps.

    • By the way, I do believe that passing in the breakdown lane IS one of the most violated Minnesota traffic laws and here’s why. Say you”re on a two-way road and the car in front wants to turn left but there is oncoming traffic so he/she has to wait, and so does everyone behind him/her. Sure as shootin’, someone will go around and pass by driving in the breakdown lane to get around the stopped vehicle.