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Driver injured in school bus crash Monday afternoon

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news River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The driver of a Hudson school bus was the only one injured in an accident in the town of Hudson around 4 p.m. Monday.

Sherry L. Giese, 60, 940 Keystone Court N., was airlifted from the scene of the accident at Sherman Road and Overlook Pass and taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, where she was listed in good condition on Tuesday.

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There were five students, ages 8-10, on the mini-bus owned and operated by Safeway of Wisconsin, the bus company that provides transportation for the Hudson School District. None of the students were injured in the accident. They were being transported home from Rock, Hudson Prairie and Willow River elementary schools when the accident occurred.

According to a report by the St. Croix County deputy on the scene, the bus appeared to have gradually left Sherman Road and struck a stand of trees in the ditch along the east side of the road. A passerby stopped to help get the children off the bus and was tending to the bus driver when the deputy arrived on the scene. The passerby said that she did not see the accident happen but did speak with Giese, who told her she believed she had "blacked out" right before the accident. Giese was complaining of chest pain and was having difficulty breathing, according to the report.

The bus sustained severe front-end damage, according to the deputy.

The students were examined by emergency medical personnel. Their parents were notified by authorities and the students waited in an ambulance to be picked up by their families. One student, whose family could not be immediately reached, was taken to Hudson Hospital and was picked up there.

According to District Deputy Director Nancy Sweet and Tom Stiles of Safeway Wisconsin, Giese has worked as a driver for Safeway for three years and has a clean driving record with no violations. Sweet said authorities have examined the bus and there did not appear to be any mechanical problems with it that may have caused the accident.

Safeway of Wisconsin has been providing bus transportation for the Hudson School District since 1992. According to Stiles, there have only been a few minor accidents involving school buses in the 16 years Safeway has been working for the district.

The accident is being investigated by the St. Croix County Sheriff's Department. Information about the accident is also posted on the school district Web site at www.hudson.k12.wi.us.

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