by April Scheinoha
A 7-year-old boy was killed Thursday morning after attempting to cross the highway and get onto his school bus in rural Pennington County.
Anthony Fellman was taken to Sanford Medical Center in Thief River Falls, according to Sgt. Jesse Grabow with the Minnesota State Patrol. He was later pronounced dead.
At about 7 a.m. Thursday, Fellman was crossing Highway 59 in front of his home, which is located south of the city of Thief River Falls. Two other siblings were also waiting for the bus at that time.
Fellman was then struck by a northbound 2005 Chrysler Town & Country driven by Joanne J. Schultz, 69, Plummer. Fellman was struck on the east side of the highway, which is north of the intersection with Pennington County State Aid Highway 3. The van sustained moderate damage.
The Thief River Falls school bus was in the southbound lane at the time. The State Patrol hadn’t released that driver’s name as of presstime. Superintendent Brad Bergstrom said about 12 students were on the bus.
Schultz is cooperating with authorities. “We don’t suspect alcohol or drugs at this time,” said Grabow, who noted the crash remains under investigation.
The State Patrol also noted that it was still determining whether the bus’ stop arm was extended and whether its warning lights were functioning at the time.
“The Prowler community is extremely sad this morning, learning the loss of one of our students,” Bergstrom said.
Fellman was a second grader at Challenger Elementary School. Bergstrom said he had an infectious personality that was larger than life.
The school district has reached out to the Fellman family. Lincoln High School Guidance Counselor Bill Stock said Fellman’s locker may be used in the future to honor the child’s memory.
The crisis management team was in place Thursday morning at the school. Guidance counselors were also available. Stock said he had already spoken with at least one high school student who witnessed the crash.
“We expect a different day tomorrow,” said Stock. “A lot of our elementary students will find out tonight.”
Stock said the district will have grief resources on its website for parents to help their children.