Forest Lake school bus involved in crash

A tow truck operator sweeps up debris around the SUV before it can be loaded onto the truck at a crash site on the intersection of Scandia Trail and North Shore Drive in Forest Lake Aug. 22.

Two vehicle collisions occurred at the intersection of North Shore Trail and Scandia Trail in Forest Lake in quick succession around 2:45 p.m. Aug. 22. According to initial reports from law enforcement, the first collision was between a driving school vehicle and a dump truck, resulting in a minor injury to an occupant of the driving school car. The second occurred shortly thereafter, when a westbound SUV rear-ended a school bus carrying Forest Lake Area Schools students. The driver of the SUV, Rena Matilda Shepherd, 71, of Lindstrom, was transported by ambulance with unknown injuries (initial reports that a second person may have been transported were later discounted). Two students from the school bus, a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old, also received minor injuries and were checked out by medics at the scene.

The school bus crash occurred as the bus had slowed to wait for oncoming traffic in order to make a left turn onto North Shore Trail, and Shepherd reportedly did not realize the bus had slowed down until it was too late to avoid a crash. The previous crash between the dump truck and the driving school car occurred earlier and was unrelated to the bus crash, except possibly as a source of distraction, according to the Minnesota State Patrol crash report.

Students in the bus look back on the accident scene.
Forest Lake Police Captain Greg Weiss puts students at ease as they switch to a new bus following the accidents.
  • Tyler Thomas

    I was on the bus that got rear ended, and for the record the kids who had “minor injuries” are fine and just had a very small ache in their shoulder.