Students from Grand Rapids were on their way to Northern Great Plains Youth Institute at UMC

    An investigation by the Minnesota State Patrol has concluded that a school bus from Grand Rapids on its way to the University of Minnesota Crookston crashed on the morning of May 7 in the median of U.S. Highway 2 near Lengby because the bus driver fell asleep.

    State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow tells the Times that Stephen David Charnley, 57, was cited with “duty to drive with due care” in relation to the crash. While the State Patrol’s investigation is complete, the case is still pending in Polk County District Court.

    The bus went into the ditch and overturned around 8:20 a.m. on May 7. Charnley, Grand Rapids social studies teacher Eric Northard and 22 Grand Rapids high school students were on the bus. Charnley, Northard and 12 students were injured, but none seriously. Each student went home later on the day of the crash.

    An actual incident report has yet to be released, Grabow said, so he’s unable to comment further on the incident.

    The Grand Rapids contingent was traveling to Crookston that day, along with groups from other school districts in the region, to attend the Northern Great Plains Youth Institute, a World Food Prize event, at the U of M Crookston. Earlier this month, a contingent of UMC faculty and staff traveled to Grand Rapids High School to give the students an opportunity to participate in the activities and initiatives they missed out on May 7 at UMC.