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Semi clips, tips Badger, Minn., school bus; 8 students, bus driver treated for minor injuries

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Students were cut and bruised, but not seriously injured this morning near Roseau, Minn., when a semi-truck rear-ended a Badger School District bus with eight students on board, causing the bus to tip onto its side.

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All eight students on the bus were transported to Roseau Life Care Medical Center, where they were treated for minor injuries and released, said State Patrol Trooper Aaron Phillipe, who responded to the accident. The students had cuts and bruises, but no serious injuries, he said.

It happened about 7:15 a.m., Tuesday as the bus was traveling west on state Highway 11, five miles west of Roseau when the driver, Timothy Berger, 61, of Badger, slowed to take a right turn on 340th Avenue, a gravel road.

The 1999 Kenworth truck, also westbound, was pulling an empty 50-foot van trailer. It clipped the bus on its left rear bumper, causing the bus to tip onto its left side across the gravel road, jutting into the ditch, Phillipe said.

The driver of the semi, James Soucy, 75, of Fargo, had no injuries.

Phillipe said Soucy will be cited for "failing to use due care."

"He did what he could," Phillipe said. "He did apply his brakes, there were plenty of skid marks. He said he didn't want to go into oncoming traffic, so he hit the corner of the bus."

The bus' turn signals were on during the turn, Phillipe said.

The bus driver, Berger, drove himself to the hospital, was treated for minor injuries and took the mandatory drug and alcohol tests required after such an accident, Phillipe said. The results weren't available Tuesday, but Phillipe said, "I have no reason to think that's an issue."

It was dark, with "a little bit of light fog in the air," but the roadway was dry at the time of the accident, Phillipe said.

The children already had gotten out of the bus and were being loaded into ambulances when he arrived on the scene, Phillipe said.

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