Charges: Driver in deadly St. Paul bus crash 'smelled of alcohol'

- A 26-year-old Minneapolis man accused of causing a fatal crash that left a gaping hole in a Metro Transit bus Friday night in St. Paul has been charged with a count of criminal vehicular homicide and a count of criminal vehicular operation.

According to the criminal complaint, Tyler Randall Bjelland "smelled of alcohol" when emergency crews extricated him from his car. Investigators took a sample of his blood.

At 7:30 p.m. on Friday, St. Paul police responded to the crash at the intersection of Charles Ave. and Dale St. N., calling the scene "horrific and surreal."

Kenneth J. Foster, 48, of Minneapolis, a bus passenger, died at the scene. A 19-year-old man remains in critical condition with swelling in his brain.

Witnesses told police, before the crash Bjelland was driving a Chevy Impala around 70 to 100 miles per hour eastbound on Charles, swerving all over the road and ignoring stop signs. They told police along the way he side-swiped a parked vehicle and nearly hit several others.

Another witness, who lives near the near of the crash, saw the Impala accelerate through every intersection along Charles. When the car reached Dale, she saw it hit the median, go airborne and crash into the bus. The Impala also caught fire after the crash.

Other bus passengers, including minors, received treatment for injuries at the scene.

Bjelland has declined to comment with police.

Bjelland will have his first court appearance on Tuesday. Prosecutors are planning to ask for $500,000 bail.

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