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UPDATE: Minivan driver in bus crash in critical condition Monday

An Ellsworth Community School District bus was stopped on Highway 35 Friday, April 7 attempting to load students when it was rear ended by a minivan. The driver of the minivan was seriously injured and had to be extricated by emergency personnel. The school bus contained seven occupants along with two students beginning to load. Two students had possible injuries but were not transported from the scene. Photo courtesy of Wisconsin State Patrol

A western Wisconsin woman remained in critical condition this week after her minivan crashed into an Ellsworth School District bus on Friday near Bay City.

A Wisconsin State Patrol news release states the minivan driver, 55-year-old Nelson resident Tonya Shaw-Brunner, sustained life-threatening injuries in the crash, reported at 6:25 a.m. on Highway 35 at County Road D.

She was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, where a spokeswoman said she remained in critical condition Monday.

The release states two students sustained possible injuries in the crash, but were not transported from the scene. The bus contained seven occupants; two students were beginning to load the bus at the time of the crash.

The bus, driven by 74-year-old Darrell Schuster of Maiden Rock, had activated its red warning lights and extended its stop arm, according to the State Patrol. Alcohol use was not detected on Schuster, according to troopers. He was not injured.

Shaw-Brunner, who had to be extricated from her vehicle, was not wearing a seat belt, the release states.

“This crash is a stark reminder that morning commuters need to be attentive to quickly changing traffic conditions,” the release states. “When school buses are present, slow down, give distance and be patient.”

Red Wing firefighters and EMS crews, along with Ellsworth fire, North Memorial Air Care and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department assisted with the crash, which remains under investigation.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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