Monticello, MN School Bus And Truck Crash, Apr 1997


Monticello, Minn. (AP) - A school bus slammed into a gravel truck that had driven through a stop sign Thursday, killing the truck driver and three elementary school children.
Seven pupils remained hospitalized late Thursday, at least three with critical injuries.
The truck, which had just emptied its load, did not yield at the intersection marked with a stop sign. Wright County sheriff's Capt. Gary Miller said, "The bus had the right of way," he said.
The crash happened shortly after 8 a.m., when pupils were riding to begin classes at Pinewood Elementary School. Many were left bloody and others unconscious. "Some were just moaning weakly," said Jerry Ingeman, who called 911 to report the crash.
"One kid was asking if he was dreaming. He just didn't know if it was really happening."
Fourth-grader KRISTINE BURZINSKI, 9, and the truck driver, JOHN DOYLE, 42, died at the scene. A fifth-grader and another child, a boy, died later at hospitals. They were not immediately identified.
"It's a pretty dark day," school Superintendent Sheldon Johnson said as school staff, clergy and hospital staff counseled students. "Something of this magnitude in a small community, obviously, one day isn't going to take care of it," Johnson said.
"So we will make all of the support and love available however long it takes."

The Advocate-Messenger Danville, Boyle Kentucky 1997-04-11