A Missed Red Light Leaves Seven Hurt in Downtown St. Paul Bus-Truck Crash

May 05--A pickup truck ran a red light in downtown St. Paul on Wednesday morning, crashed into a Metro Transit bus and sent the vehicles careening into the side of a building.

Seven people were taken to area hospitals with injuries that weren't life-threatening, said John Siqveland, Metro Transit spokesman.

Just after 9 a.m., a Route 94 bus was traveling through the intersection at Sixth and Cedar streets. A black Chevrolet Silverado that was westbound on Sixth went through a red light and hit the bus, which was southbound on Cedar, Siqveland said.

Both the bus and the truck went onto the sidewalk, with at least the bus striking the side of the Alliance Bank Center's parking ramp on the west side of Cedar.

"It was a tangled mess there on the sidewalk," Siqveland said. "It was a pretty dramatic scene."

Five people on the bus, including the driver, were taken to the hospital, Siqveland said. Four people were in the pickup truck and two of them went to the hospital, he said. All the injured were conscious and breathing at the scene.

One bus passenger estimated there were 10 people on board at the time of the accident.

Metro Transit police cited the pickup truck's driver for careless driving and no proof of insurance.

Bernard Duckworth, 37, was a passenger in the pickup truck. He was released from the hospital with two broken bones in his back and three or four fractured ribs, said Tressa Duckworth, his wife.

"He's in a lot of pain right now," she

said Wednesday night.

Bernard Duckworth was trapped in the vehicle and had to be extricated by firefighters, his wife said. The other passenger in the truck had broken ribs, she said.

The truck belongs to Horizon Roofing, the Waite Park, Minn.-based company that Bernard Duckworth and the others in the vehicle work for. They were looking for a parking spot when the crash happened, said Ginger Duckworth, Bernard's sister.

"He told me he heard some screaming and, when he looked up, he saw the bus coming toward him," she said. "He was on the side where the bus hit."

Ginger Duckworth, who had just gotten off her job as a Metro Transit bus driver, said she heard her brother had been in an accident and came downtown to try to find the crash. When she arrived, the 40-year-old said, she had an asthma attack and a panic attack, and paramedics also brought her to the hospital.

The bus driver was tested for drugs and alcohol, which is Metro Transit policy after accidents involving its bus and train operators.

Traffic was detoured from the Cedar and Sixth intersection until about noon, Siqveland said.

Mara H. Gottfried can be reached at 651-228-5262 or mgottfried@pioneerpress.com. Rhoda Fukushima can be reached at 651-228-5444 or rgfukushima@pioneerpress.com.

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