An Apple Valley truck driver has been sentenced to one year in jail, with four months stayed for two years after video surfaced of him speeding by a school bus and narrowly missing a 13-year-old girl.
Allen Howard Morris, 48, was convicted of a gross misdemeanor after a dashcam caught him passing a school bus on the right hand side when its red flashers were displayed. In addition to the year in jail, Morris will have to:
- Remain on probation for two years.
- Pay a $1,000 fine.
- Write an apology letter to the family of the girl he nearly hit.
We actually covered this story when it first broke back in 2014. According to the police report, Morris was driving his semi behind a school bus on a two-lane section of Hwy 23 between New London and Paynesville when the bus put its flashers on and began to slow down as it approached a stop. Morris, who told officers that he was looking at a field and not paying attention to the road, said he looked back at the road and he realized he wouldn’t be able to stop in time , so he swerved to the right and blew past the bus at a high speed.
Thankfully he didn’t strike 13-year-old Alexis Schwartz, who was waiting to board the bus. Schwartz said after the incident that her “heart was pounding awfully fast and [her] hands were shaking because [she] was so scared to have it come up that close.”
You can see video of the near-accident below.
Despite his lack of awareness on the road, Morris did make the conscious decision to turn himself in after he learned that police were investigating the matter.
Now that March is here and the weather will start warming up, you’ll likely start seeing cars traveling faster on the roads. As speeds increase, so too does stopping time. Make sure you give school buses and emergency vehicles plenty of room in the event they have to make a unexpected stop. Also, if you think you’re up to par on Minnesota’s school bus stop arm laws, test your knowledge with our quiz!
Related source: Pioneer Press.