It’s a story that sounds like something out of a movie: an out-of-control car speeds into a ditch and is launched over the hood of a school bus stopped at a stop sign. This isn’t a scene from a summer blockbuster, it actually happened in December 2011 on Highway 65.
Luckily for all involved, the bus driver, Wendy McIntyre of Blaine, followed safety suggestions and stopped behind the stop sign.
If the bus had been in a different position the outcome could have been different for the bus and the car.
And fortunately for the children on the bus, Sandra Weinstock, a bus paraeducator from Coon Rapids, was on board.
For their actions, McIntyre, an employee of First Student School Bus Transportation, and Weinstock, an Anoka-Hennepin employee, received a District 11 Transportation Specialist Award.
Weinstock also received a 2011-12 Minnesota Special Education Transportation Award for special education bus assistants from the Minnesota Association for Pupil Transportation and McIntyre received an honorable mention for her service to students.
Both women were honored by the district Bus Safety Committee and Weinstock was recently recognized by the Anoka-Hennepin School Board.
Jeff Mueller, transportation safety coordinator, told board members about the accident and said Weinstock saw a car coming at the bus and her reaction was to protect the students.
Keith Paulson, transportation department director, said Weinstock’s action was a tremendous show of how she cares about students.
Weinstock, who has a daughter who is a bus driver, told the school board, when she moved to Minnesota from Illinois she called the district every day about job openings.
She thanked Mueller for giving her a job.
“The kids are my first priority on the bus,” Weinstock said. “That’s what I think of first.”