AITKIN COUNTY, Minn. – It was a terrifying ordeal that was all caught on camera.
“It was one of those things you don’t see every day,” said Sheriff Scott Turner, with the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities say 11 children had just finished another school day and boarded a bus to go home.
However, the bus began to weave, which caught the attention of a sheriff’s deputy.
“She first saw the vehicle weave within its lane a little bit. She thought, ‘That’s not right.’ She turned her lights on, trying to stop it and the weaving became more pronounced,” Turner said.
At one point, the bus, which was traveling at about 40 miles an hour, ran into a ditch.
Amazingly, it made it back on the road.
The deputy did what she could to warn oncoming traffic about the runaway school bus.
“Getting around the bus into the opposite lane to alert vehicles that were ahead of the bus that there was a problem on the roadway, to get them out of the way,” he said.
One driver had to put it in reverse to avoid a head-on collision, eventually maneuvering into a driveway.
A state trooper was able to use stop sticks to get the bus to stop in a ditch.
The bus driver, 68-year-old Scott Gilbertson, was immediately rushed to the hospital.
Thankfully, no one else was injured.
“That’s not something any of us would expect when we hop in any vehicle, let alone a school bus,” he said.
The children on the bus ranged in age from 6-years-old to 14-years-old.
Some called 911 on their cell phones while others called their parents during the wild ride.
In all, it lasted about 14 minutes and covered about five and a half miles.