ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - A car traveling at high speed slammed into the middle of a Metro Transit bus in St. Paul last month, killing one passenger and leaving another fighting for his life.
The impaired driver who allegedly caused it is now charged with criminal vehicular homicide.
One of the victims, 19-year-old Markus Jackson, is lucky to be alive after suffering a life-altering brain injury.
"It was horrific,” said LaShonna Kyles, Jackson’s mother. “I still can't believe that happened."
Kyles is stunned by the terrifying images of the July 21 crash at the intersection of Dale Street and Charles Avenue.
"It was a nightmare and still is to a point because I don't know if I am getting my old son back,” said LaShonna Kyles. “I'm not sure what the future holds."
Jackson, an all-American teen according to his parents, was riding the Metro Transit bus that evening.
Authorities said Tyler Bjelland had fled the scene of a minor accident nearby. He was allegedly going at least 70 miles an hour when his Chevy Impala went airborne over the median and sliced through the bus.
Fellow transit passenger Kenneth Foster of Minneapolis was killed. Jackson suffered a traumatic brain injury. Nearly two weeks later, he finally opened his eyes.
"I was there a night ago and he actually said, ‘Hi Mom,’” said Kyles. “That was a big moment. He knew who I was. Ecstatic about that."
Because it's a brain injury, his parents don't know what the future holds, but they are praying for a miraculous recovery.
"I didn't know if he'd be able to speak, what he was able to do,” she said. “So just having a response, I can have hope - hope that he will get better,” she said.
Bjelland was scheduled to be in court on Friday for his first appearance, but his injuries wouldn’t allow him to leave the hospital. The hearing has been rescheduled for August 11.