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Bicyclist dead in St. Paul crash; witnesses say school bus involved

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Police examine the scene of a crash between a school bus and a bicyclist.
Police examine the scene of a fatal crash between a school bus and a bicyclist at Snelling and Summit Aves. in St. Paul, Minn., on May 9, 2018.
Evan Frost | MPR News

Updated: 5 p.m. | Posted: 3:29 p.m.

Police are investigating a collision involving a school bus that left a cyclist dead in St. Paul.

The crash happened shortly after 2 p.m., at the intersection of Snelling and Summit Avenues, near Macalester College.

  According to a statement by St. Paul Police, officers found the bicyclist gravely injured when they arrived on the scene. Officers began administering first aid and called St. Paul Fire medics for assistance. "Unfortunately, life-saving measures were unsuccessful and the bicyclist died without being transported to the hospital," the statement read. 

Police examine the scene of a crash between a school bus and a bicyclist.
Police examine the scene of a crash between a school bus and a bicyclist at Snelling and Summit Aves. in St. Paul, Minn., on May 9, 2018.
Evan Frost | MPR News

Police identified the victim as an adult male and said that drugs and alcohol are not believed to be a factor in the crash. The man was wearing a helmet.

Photos from the crash show what looks like a sheet concealing a body on the northeast corner of the intersection, with a First Student bus stopped partway in what appeared to be a turn from eastbound Summit to northbound Snelling.

  In a statement, St. Paul Public Schools confirmed a bus driven by a contractor for the district was involved in the collision. 

Jessica Thompson, a parent of a Ramsey Middle School eighth-grader, said her daughter was on the bus when the crash happened. She said her daughter heard the crash and said many of the students rushed to the front of the bus and saw the cyclist lying and bleeding in the street near the bus' front bumper.

She said authorities put a sheet up to block the windshield and a little while later helped the children out the emergency exit door at the back of the bus. They were taken to a building at Macalester to wait for their parents or a replacement bus. The approximately 30 students on the bus were not hurt and have been transported home safely, the school district said.

"Crisis counselors will be at Ramsey for the remainder of the week," the district said.

The crash and investigation closed the intersection, one of the city's busiest, heading into the evening rush hour.

"The [cyclist] came crossing the intersection and the bus came and hit the [cyclist]," said Samuel Hohman, who lives nearby. He said the bicyclist was going westbound through the intersection and the bus was turning left and hit the bicyclist head on.

The crash happened only feet from where a driver struck and killed another cyclist in 2008.

Virginia Marie Heuer-Bowar was struck at the intersection of a service road and the main traffic lane of eastbound Summit Avenue, a few feet from Snelling Avenue on Sept. 26 that year. She died at Regions Hospital a few hours after the accident.

Summit has a dedicated bike lane on both sides of the road and is one of the most heavily traveled bike routes in the Twin Cities.

MPR News reporter Solvejg Wastvedt contributed to this report.