Patrol: Driver's heart condition played no role in fatal ND bus crash


An official report on a school bus crash that killed the driver and a 17-year-old girl at a rail crossing near Larimore, North Dakota, paints a picture of the accident that's different from what initial reports suggested.

The driver, 62-year-old Max Danner, was thought to have a heart condition that might have played a role in his failure to come to a stop before the train tracks. However, the North Dakota Highway Patrol's report on the accident, released Monday, concludes Danner did not die as a result of medical complications.

Officials say Danner did have a heart condition, but that it was not a factor in the crash.

This seems to conflict with earlier reports that Cassidy Sandstorm – the student who also died in the crash – rushed to the front of the bus just before the collision to help Danner out of his seat.

Surviving passengers apparently said the bus driver had "slumped over in his seat" before the accident, according to KSTP.

Sandstorm's actions were described as heroic.

However, the State Patrol's report, which used surveillance footage from the train, noted "significant braking" on Danner's part and said he appeared to be in an "upright position" at the time of the crash.

Officials went on to say that interviews with all the survivors of the accident "support the investigation results."

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