All lanes of westbound Interstate 94 are now open following an accident just before noon today that closed westbound lanes for more than three hours.
The serious crash involved a military bus and semi truck and happened on I-94 between Monticello and Albertville. A passer-by phone video showed the bus tipped over with first responders attending to several victims.
The bus was carrying members of the Air Force Reserve 934th Airlift Wing. It was on its way to a training site near Fargo when it was rear-ended by a semi truck.
Sgt. Jesse Grabow of the Minnesota State Patrol provided more information at an afternoon briefing at the Monticello Fire Department.
“A bus was stopped on I-94 westbound in traffic in the right lane,” said Grabow. “A semi came along and ended up striking the back end part of that bus, causing that bus to roll.”
The state patrol was one of several agencies to respond to the crash, along with the Monticello Fire Department and Wright County Sheriff’s Office.
Grabow confirmed that there were six injuries resulting from the accident, including one patient that was airlifted from the scene with serious injuries. The driver of the semi truck also suffered minor injuries in the accident.
Traffic was at or near a stop along I-94 when the accident occurred, and an investigation into the crash is ongoing.
“Preliminary information indicates that as the semi came into the scene there, the semi did attempt to avoid striking the bus, trying to swerve hard onto the right shoulder,” said Grabow.
The freeway was shut down for several hours while crews did mapping and reconstruction of the scene.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation issued a release at 3:35 p.m. stating that the crash was cleared, cleanup was complete, and all lanes were now open.
Sgt. Grabow urged drivers to be attentive on the roadways, especially as school buses have now returned to the roads.
“Driving is always such a huge responsibility,” said Grabow. “Things can change so quickly.”
Aaron Brom of Press News contributed to this report.