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Deputy, firefighter stop runaway school bus

MARSHALL — Quick action by a Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s deputy and a Granite Falls firefighter helped stop a runaway school bus on Highway 212 on Wednesday, the Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s Office said.

The Renville County West school bus had crashed into vehicles in Granite Falls and was traveling in the wrong lane after the bus driver had a medical emergency.

Around 12:04 p.m., dispatchers at the Sheriff’s Office received multiple 911 calls of a school bus driving on the wrong side of the road. The bus hit several cars on Highway 212 near the stop lights in Granite Falls, and continued traveling westbound, the Sheriff’s Office said. Both Granite Falls Police and the Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the scene.

Deputies caught up to the bus about two miles west of Granite Falls, the Sheriff’s Office said. The bus was traveling at about 40 miles an hour in the wrong traffic lane. It looked like there were no passengers on the bus, and deputies thought the driver might be having a medical emergency, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputy Eric Diekmann was able to pass the bus in his squad car, and turn on the lights and sirens to warn oncoming traffic. Diekmann was able to get the rear of the squad car close enough to the front of the bus to bump it, and used the squad car’s brakes to slow the bus down, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Once the bus was almost stopped, Granite Falls firefighter Greg Meyer got out of his personal vehicle and opened the door to the bus. Meyer was able to stop the bus and put it in park.

The bus driver, 70-year-old Brian Fuller, of Renville, was taken by ambulance to the Granite Falls Hospital, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The bus damaged a total of three vehicles, including the squad car that stopped the bus. However, the actions of both Diekmann and Meyer helped stop a dangerous situation without anyone getting injured, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The Granite Falls Police Department and Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s Office were assisted by Granite Falls Ambulance, the Minnesota State Patrol and the Upper Sioux Community Police Department.

Video of the incident was captured by the dashboard cameras on deputies’ squad cars. The Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s Office has posted the footage on its Facebook page.

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