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New court date set for man charged with causing Bemidji school bus crash

BEMIDJI, Minn. — A warrant for the arrest of the Tennessee man officials say caused a Bemidji school bus crash was quashed, shortly after it was issued.

Thomas Lee Nielsen, 29, was cited for careless driving after the May 3 crash left a handful of elementary school students hurt. The Chattanooga, Tenn., man was scheduled to be arraigned May 9 but did not appear in court, prompting Judge John Melbye to issue the warrant and set bail at $1,000.

Court records show that the warrant was quashed—meaning it is no longer in effect—on Friday, June 9. A new court date was set for July 21.

The bus crash occurred when Nielsen, who was heading east on South Movil Lake Road, ran a stop sign. Nielsen's car struck the bus full of elementary students traveling south on Irvine Avenue Northwest.

The bus lost control and swerved onto the soft shoulder of the road before rolling on its side into the ditch. A handful of students were injured, according to law enforcement. One elementary-aged girl sustained a spleen laceration and lost the function of one of her kidneys, her mother said. Another young girl received severe cuts to the face that required plastic surgery.

One boy was taken to the hospital by helicopter after the crash caused his arm to become pinned between a bus seat and a window.

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