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.