Man sentenced for fatal hit-and-run while driving a school bus


On Jan. 31, 35-year-old Jason Rynders, of Big Lake, was sentenced to 41-months in prison for fatally hitting a female victim while driving a school bus in Brooklyn Center, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Monday. Rynders, who fled the scene after hitting the victim, was charged with one count of criminal vehicular homicide in March 2020. On Nov. 17, Rynders pleaded guilty to the single count he faced. 

At the sentencing Monday morning, the State sought a 48-month sentence, while the defense was seeking probation. Judge William H. Koch sentenced Rynders to 41-months, and said the evidence provided by the State showed Rynders knew he had hit the victim before fleeing the scene. 

Rynders received four days of credit for time already served on his sentence.

According to the criminal complaint, on March 16, 2020, a man called police around 6:45 a.m. When police arrived, the man said he was driving to work on Humboldt Avenue North at about 30 miles per hour. He saw a school bus parked on the right side of the road, then he felt a bump. He got out and saw that he had hit a woman. The bus driver was outside of the bus, so the man yelled at him to call 911. Instead, Rynders got back on the bus and drove away. 

A video camera on the bus showed the bus hitting the victim at 6:41 a.m. Nearby smart doorbell video showed the bus turning westbound from Meadowood Drive onto Humboldt Avenue. The collision and a scream are heard on the video. The video then shows the bus pulling over and Rynders running back toward the collision. A short time later, the voice of the other driver is heard yelling for Rynders to call 911. Rynders does not call 911 and is instead seen running back to the bus, driving away and leaving the victim dead in the street.

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