ST. PAUL, Minn. — A school bus driver who crashed into three parked cars, careened up a curb, and almost struck a post office on Monday was asleep at the wheel, police said, and also had several traffic violations on his record, Star Tribune reports.
A St. Paul police spokesman told the newspaper that investigators believe that bus driver Mohamed Wasuge had fallen asleep, based on information provided by witnesses. Wasuge had lost control of the bus, and it sideswiped the cars and jumped a curb, causing two students and a bus monitor to be briefly hospitalized for aches and pains, according to Star Tribune.
Karen Klinzing, the executive director of West Side Summit Charter School, said she had been told the bus hit a patch of ice, and that she had been notified that Wasuge was immediately fired, the newspaper reports. She also told Star Tribune that the school spoke to Wasuge’s employer, Bille Bus Transportation, about a month ago regarding him not getting to school on time.
Court records show that Wasuge has been convicted of traffic violations at least 11 times since 2003, presumably involving personal vehicles and not buses, the newspaper reports. One week before Monday’s crash, which sheared a wheel off the bus, Wasuge was cited in court with unsafe lane usage.
Additionally, the newspaper found that Bille Bus Transportation has failed more bus safety inspections than it has passed, according to state Department of Public Safety reports, and that the company’s owner was convicted in 2014 of failing to provide annual in-service training to each school bus driver as required by the state.
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