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  A CHEVROLET PASSENGER CAR IS WEDGED under the bumper of this frankenmuth School district bus last Friday morning. A 51-year-old Reese man was behind the wheel of the car. Please see the story below.

FHS student has a close call with caar/bus crash on M-46

  A 51-year-old Reese man was arrested for his connection to a car/school bus crash last week.

  The incident took place around 7:40am on Friday, February 7, in the 10,000 block of East Holland Road (M-46), just east of Dehmel Road, in Blumfield Township. M-46 and most area roads were icy and snow covered from a storm that brought 3-5 inches of snow overnight.

  The crash took place right in front of the home of Melissa and Jeff Courville. Their son, Joseph, a 15-year-old freshman at Frankenmuth High School, was waiting for the bus, beginning around 7:30am.

  “We always have him stand quite a few feet back where he can see traffic, but it is still pretty dark in the morning during the winter so Joseph did not see the car coming up quickly behind the bus,” Melissa recalled. “Just as Joseph was getting up to the bus door, he heard a very loud crash and the bus moved about two feet, causing the bus door that was open to hit him, but not enough to hurt him as he jumped back.”

  The vehicle rear-impacted the bus, with more than a third of the car under the back bumper of the bus.

  Stunned, Joseph waited to get on the bus until the bus driver checked with the children and calmed them down. He was let on the bus. Overall, there were 29 FSD students on the bus which, despite the road conditions, was only running a few minutes behind schedule.

  𠇊mazingly, an ambulance was transporting a cancer patient to her appointment and saw the accident as it happened and stopped to help and talked with the car and bus drivers. I noticed a middle-aged man in the gray Malibu under the bus on his cellphone and wasn’t sure if he was on his phone before the accident or making calls after the fact,” Melissa said.

  Courville noted he exited his car wearing shorts and a coat, holding what appeared to be white sheets or possibly his deployed air bag.

  Michigan State Police troopers determined the bus was heading east on M-46. It came to a stop, with its overhead red lights activated and the STOP sign extended when it was impacted.

  The 51-year-old driver was interviewed by the first responders. He was transported by MMR Ambulance Service to a Saginaw-area hospital for treatment of minor injuries. After a blood sample was taken, he was released to MSP troopers who lodged him in the Saginaw County Jail for operating while intoxicated. It is believed it was his third alcohol-related offense.

  FSD administrators were present at the scene. Rebecca Phillips, the daughter of Frankenmuth School District crossing guard Kristy Haskell, helped the children cross from the one bus to another in a safe manner. The bus in the crash could not move. The second bus was quickly dispatched to get the kids to school.

  “With traffic stopped both ways, the bus driver was asked to try to drive off the car. Squealing tires and lots of black smoke showed that it was futile and a large wrecker was called,” Melissa stated.

  Once untangled, the bus drove back to the bus barn.

 Courville said FSD Superintendent Adele Martin and FSD Transportation Director Tammy Metiva were both at the scene. Martin visited with the Courvilles, to ensure no child was injured.

  “Overall, I am impressed at the speed of how fast the police got to the scene as well as the hands-on attention the Frankenmuth superintendent and bus transportation department handled the situation by issuing another bus immediately and coming to the accident to talk with first responders and families,” Melissa said.

  The Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department and Blumfield Fire Department also rendered aid and help with traffic.

(c) 2006 Frankenmuth News