A Maple Grove bus driver was charged with a count of criminal vehicular homicide in connection with a fatal hit-and-run that occurred in Brooklyn Park March 16.
Jason Randolph Rynders, 33, of Maple Grove, has been charged in connection with the collision.
According to the criminal complaint, at approximately 6:50 a.m., Brooklyn Park police officers were dispatched to the area of Humbolt Avenue North and Meadowwood Drive on a report of an unconscious person lying in the road.
Arriving officers spoke with a witness who called 911 to report that while on his way to work, traveling at approximately 30 miles per hour on Humboldt Avenue, he saw a school bus parked on the side of the road. He then felt his car hit something in the road. When he got out of his car, he saw he had hit a person. He saw that the driver of the bus had been standing outside of the bus for approximately five seconds. When he asked the driver to call 911, the driver, allegedly Rynders, got back into his school bus and left the area.
The woman who was struck was pronounced dead at the scene. Her identity has not been revealed by authorities, but she is identified as an adult female in the criminal complaint.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner and accident reconstruction experts processed the scene, and their preliminary analysis indicates that the victim was struck by the front of a bus, then again by the front axle, the rear tires, or both. These reports will still pending when charges were filed.
According to the criminal complaint, Rynders is a driver and trainer for the NorthStar Bus Company. He admitted hearing a noise and exiting his vehicle that morning but told investigators that he did not think he hit anyone.
A nearby homeowner’s surveillance system captured part of the incident. It shows the collision and the sound of a voice. A male driver exists the bus and runs back towards the collision, and a voice is heard asking him to call 911. He is then seen running back to the bus and leaving the area.
A video system location shows that the bus appears to shudder as though it hit something at 6:41 a.m. Four to five children are shown on the bus at the time of the collision. Rynders is seen leaving the bus, and then returning approximately one minute later. After dropping the children off at school that morning, Rynders is seen getting out of the bus to look under the driver’s side before continuing to walk around the bus.
The state plans to seek an aggravated sentence due to the presence of children during the incident.
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