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Published May 16, 2011, 09:40 AM

5 injured when taxi hits school bus in St. Cloud

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — A school bus and taxi taking students to a St. Cloud elementary school collided Monday, sending the bus veering into a nearby building and injuring several children.

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — A school bus and taxi taking students to a St. Cloud elementary school collided Monday, sending the bus veering into a nearby building and injuring several children.

Two children from the bus, two from the taxi and the 40-year-old bus driver were treated for injuries at St. Cloud Hospital, police Sgt. Lori Ellering said. Both the bus and the taxi were taking the students to Talahi Elementary School.

By 1 p.m., all who had been hospitalized were released, St. Cloud Hospital spokeswoman Jeanine Nistler said. She said the injuries amounted to "bumps and bruises," and there were no broken bones or life-threatening injuries. Others were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

A police report said the bus had the right of way. The taxi ran a stop sign just before 7:30 a.m. and crashed into the side of the bus, the report said. The bus kept moving after the collision, going over a set of railroad tracks and ultimately crashing into the duplex about 50 yards away.

Donald Fleming, the 57-year-old cab driver from St. Cloud, suffered minor injuries. He was cited for failing to stop for a stop sign, according to the police report.

Fleming was physically OK, but "he's a little shaken," Derrick Shaney, a spokesman for Care Transportation, which operates Yellow Cab, told the St. Cloud Times.

"He said that when he came to the stop sign that it was pretty bright, and he said he didn't see the sign," Shaney said.

Fleming's driving record contains three speeding citations from 2004 to 2007 and a semaphore violation in 2007. A telephone number for Fleming could not be found.

Fewer than 30 children were on the bus, which has a capacity of about 80 passengers, St. Cloud Area School Superintendent Bruce Watkins said. He said the district transports about 9,000 students every day, and accidents are "highly unusual."

Three people who were in the duplex escaped injury. They removed personal items, and a tow truck was called in to remove the bus from the building. A St. Cloud Housing Inspection officer was at the scene trying to determine the building's structural integrity before the bus was removed.

The portion of the street that runs in front of the duplex was closed for about an hour.

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