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Retired Grand Forks teacher, three students hurt in school bus crash

GRAND FORKS - Dallas Kopp, longtime teacher and coach at Red River High School, was cited Sunday for failure to use proper care after he lost control of a school bus with 14 students on an exit ramp off Interstate 94 in the Bismarck area and it overturned.

The bus hit a sign and turned on its side next to the exit ramp.

Kopp, 73 and retired from teaching and coaching, was injured, as were three students, according to the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

The bus included 14 students, an adviser and Kopp, according to the Patrol.

Kopp and three students were taken to MedCenter One in Bismarck. Their injuries were not considered life-threatening, according to the Patrol and a Red River High School administrator.

Kopp injured his right leg; one student injured a shoulder; another suffered head and back injuries; and a third reported a head injury.

Kopp was cited for driving without the care required.

It happened about 11:30 a.m. Sunday as Kopp was driving the students to Bismarck, exiting westbound I-94 in Bismarck on a ramp, traveling 25 to 30 mph.

The bus didn't make the curve, hitting a sign marking the curve, then tipping on to the driver's side, according to the Patrol.

It was raining and the roadway was wet at the time of the accident, the Patrol said.

Some of the students got out through the rear emergency exit of the bus; others were helped out by firefighters from nearby Mandan, N.D.

Joel Schleicher, assistant principal at Red River High School, said Kopp was driving Red River students to a state student government conference in Bismarck. He was told the injuries were not serious, Schleicher said.

Retired for several years from coaching and teaching, Kopp often drives buses from Dietrich Bus Service in Grand Forks for school district events, a Grand Forks school district official said.