LIDGERWOOD, N.D. — The North Dakota Highway Patrol on Friday, Dec. 20, released the names of the Lidgerwood school bus driver and the train's conductor and engineer involved in a crash Thursday in which five students were injured.
Authorities say Michael Skroch, 69, of Lidgerwood was driving the 2018 Freightliner school bus with 18 K-12 students on board, when the crash happened at approximately 3:40 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 19. According to North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind, the bus was moving north through a railroad crossing on the northeast outskirts of Lidgerwood, when a slow-moving eastbound Dakota Missouri Valley and Western Railroad train hit the bus at a right angle on its rear driver-side axle, causing it to rotate counterclockwise and roll onto its passenger side.
The DMVW train was hauling 10 loaded grain rail cars with two locomotive engines operated by its engineer, Michael Mallett, 51 and conductor, Terry Roney, 51, both from Oakes, N.D. Neither Mallett or Roney were injured.
Of the 18 K-12 students on the bus, five were taken to area hospitals to be treated for their injuries. A 15-year-old girl was transported by lifeflight to Sanford Hospital in Fargo. A 14-year-old girl and an eight-year-old girl were transported by ambulance, as was an 11-year-old boy. Another 10-year-old boy was transported by his parents to the hospital. According to authorities, none of the injuries are said to be life-threatening.
The highway patrol will not be releasing the names of the students to the public. The crash remains under investigation. Lidgerwood is about 74 miles southwest of Fargo.