School bus hit by fleeing car in Robbinsdale, Minnesota

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A school bus was hit by a car involved in a police chase Monday morning in Robbinsdale, Minnesota. The bus was carrying grade school-aged students, and 5 children were taken to an area hospital following the crash on 42nd Avenue N.

Investigators said police approached the suspect vehicle on Highway 100 at 36th Avenue, where it was stopped in a ditch. The officer got close enough to smell alcohol on the driver, at which point the suspect fled.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the school bus carrying 22 students was making a left turn from northbound Quail Avenue N. to westbound 42nd Avenue N. After making the left turn, the Mitsubishi SUV that was being pursued by Robbinsdale police rear-ended the school bus. The Robbinsdale squad car that was chasing the suspect also struck the SUV to block it in.

Seven children on the bus suffered minor injuries, with 5 transported to North Memorial Medical Center with whiplash symptoms. All of the children have been released from the hospital, according to school officials. The bus driver was also taken to the hospital.

According to Robbinsdale police, the driver struck at least one other car on Highway 100 and struck several trees and a road sign on County Road 81.

The incident started at about 7:10 a.m. and students were transferred to another school bus by 8:30 a.m. According to the State Patrol report, alcohol was detected on the suspect driver -- 28-year-old Argeni Fernandez of Minneapolis.

Statement from Robbinsdale Schools

"Bus 807, which was en route to FAIR School Crystal with students onboard, was rear-ended by another vehicle around 7:30 a.m. today at 42nd and Regent avenues. According to media reports, the vehicle was involved in a police chase when it struck the school bus. Emergency responders were on the scene immediately, and five students were transported to North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale. No serious injuries were reported.

"Another bus transported Bus 807’s remaining students to FAIR School Crystal, and they were checked by nurses upon arrival. The school is communicating directly with families of students transported to the hospital, as well as any students reporting injury.

"The incident remains under investigation by police."