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Published February 02, 2010, 09:52 AM

Bus Driver Accepts Plea Deal in Fatal Crash

A Moorhead tour bus driver has reached a plea deal in a 2008 crash that killed a Minnesota high school band student on Interstate 94.

By: Associated Press, WDAZ

BUFFALO, Minn. (AP) - A Moorhead tour bus driver has reached a

plea deal in a 2008 crash that killed a Minnesota high school band

student on Interstate 94.

Seventy-one-year-old Loren Ernst accepted the plea deal Monday

as he was about to go on trial.

Ernst was facing two felonies. Instead, he pleaded guilty to a

gross misdemeanor of criminal vehicular operation. Charges of

criminal vehicular injury and criminal vehicular homicide were

dismissed.

Under the agreement, Ernst faces no more than 30 days in jail.

Prosecutor Brian Lutes says the parents of Jessica Weishair, the

16-year-old from Pelican Rapids who died in the crash, signed off

on the deal.

Weishair was killed when the bus went off I-94 and crashed in

Albertville.

Investigators say Ernst was too tired to be driving that

morning.

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