Thanks to some quick thinking on the part of one local resident, tragedy was avoided after a school bus driver suffering a medical emergency crashed into several vehicles along Highway 212 in Granite Falls last week. No injuries were reported, and the driver has received treatment at the Granite Falls Hospital. The incident occurred on Wednesday, July 17. Just after 12 pm, the Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s Office received several 911 calls describing a Renville County West School District school bus driving on the wrong side of Highway 212 close to the intersection with Highway 67 in Granite Falls. The calls also reported that the bus had crashed into several cars without checking to see if anybody was okay.
The Granite Falls Police Department Officers and Yellow Medicine County Deputies immediately dispatched to the accident scene. Deputies joined up with the bus close to the intersection of Yellow Medicine County Road 5 and Highway 212, but the busy did not pull over for the pursuing officers. Based on the behavior of the driver, officers concluded at the driver must be experiencing some type of medical emergency. Deputies then decided to try and slow down traffic, prompting one squad car driven by Eric Diekmann to pull out ahead of the bus and warn oncoming traffic. This deputy performed a “rolling road block” - a maneuver in which the squad car is used as a physical barrier with which to slow the bus down. Although this did not stop the bus completely, it slowed it down just enough to allow local resident Greg Meyer to jump into the driver door of the bus and place the large vehicle in park.
Meyer had noticed the bus crash into other vehicles in Granite and proceeding to drive in front of the bus with his flashers. "His selfless actions made this very dangerous situation come to an end with nobody getting injured," said Yellow Medicine County Sheriff Bill Flaten in a statement. Flaten also praised the actions of Deputy Diekmann, saying his work helped prevent injuries to others. Responding officers confirmed that the driver of the bus, whose name has not been released due to privacy rights, was indeed suffering a medical emergency. He was transported by the Granite Falls Ambulance team to Granite Falls Health, however, no update on his condition has been made publicly available. All told, the bus damaged three vehicles, two within the limits of Granite Falls plus one deputy squad car. The Granite Falls Police Department and the Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s Office were assisted by the Granite Falls Ambulance, the Minnesota State Patrol, and the Upper Sioux Community Police Department.