ST. PAUL (KMSP) - On Monday, a school bus carrying 18 students sideswiped cars and nearly smashed into a Post Office. On Tuesday the driver of the bus, which was operated by Bille Bus Transportation, was fired, but the company’s history is now under scrutiny.
The incident happened in St. Paul, near the intersection of Minnehaha Ave and Birmingham St., where the bus, driven by 31-year-old Mohamed Wasuge, collided with several cars before coming to rest near a post office. The owner tells us Wasuge was fired on Tuesday.
None of the kids were hurt and witnesses say Wasuge simply walked away after the crash, not taking time to check on the kids.
“He didn’t even help the kids, he came down opened the door and we said what about the kids. He said they’re fine and kept walking down the street,” said Blake Woodward who witnessed the crash.
Police say the driver was not cited. Investigators are still looking into the cause of this crash and have yet to rule out mechanical or driver error, but Abdirizak Bille the owner of Bille Bus Transportation said he fired Wasuge immediately because he ignored warnings to take it slow on the icy roads.
Karen Klinzing, the executive director of the West Side Summit Charter School said though no one was hurt, some of the kids were a little shaken.
“We do have some kids and a staff member that are a little shaken from this experience.”
Upon closer inspection, Billie’s has shown a checkered inspection history. In two of the last four years, Billie had more failed inspections than passed inspections, meaning some of its buses were not fit for transporting kids. In 2012, of comparable sized bus companies,only three other companies had more fails than passes. That is out of more than 700 bus companies that are inspected every year.
In 2015, Bille failed 21 inspections, the most among comparable bus services its size. Klinzing says she’s sticking with the company for now.
“I never want to see any fails for any of the vendors we are working with,” Klinzing said. “In our case the numbers don’t glean out the experience so far.”
The State Patrol was unable to give Fox 9 an exact breakdown of these numbers, but says each bus company has an opportunity to fix the problems. And for the past 15 years, Billie, who did not want to go on camera, says he’s always done that, and has never had his license to operate a school bus, taken away.
We were unable to reach Mohamed Wasuge, the driver of the school bus for comment.