A Pace van and two other vehicles collided on Friday afternoon, leaving 13 people hurt and sending nine or 10 to area hospitals. The accident occurred in the area of South Pulaski and West 76th Street on the south side of Chicago around 4:15 p.m.
It is not yet clear which driver caused the collision but Pace authorities have stated that their van was a paratransit vehicle traveling northbound on Pulaski when it was involved in a head-on crash with a southbound vehicle.
Pace's paratransit service is separate from the scheduled bus runs that many commuters use. Instead, the paratransit vans work on an arranged-ride schedule without a fixed route. Customers can call Pace paratransit and scheduled a one-way or round trip ride with a start and end point of the customer's preference. These vehicles operate within the Chicago city limits in addition to many of the surrounding suburbs.
At the time of the crash, the Pace van held a driver and a passenger. Though the driver was uninjured, the passenger was hurt and was transported to an area hospital for treatment. The passenger's condition and the extent of the passenger's injuries are not yet known.
In addition to the injured Pace customer, another 12 people were hurt between the two other vehicles involved. Either eight or nine of those people were transported to hospitals, some with reported minor injuries and others in serious condition.
Accidents with a public transit company, including Pace, can be complicated and difficult to navigate. Often, in addition to Pace and the individual driver of the bus or van, there is another company involved as the owner of the vehicle. Determining who exactly is at fault for a crash can take time and resources and may require court intervention if a defendant does not cooperate.
Even if the bus company is not at-fault for a collision, merely having them involved can add layers of complexity to a crash and make it more difficult for someone who is injured to make a recovery. It can also take longer to settle a claim when a public transit company is involved because the company may want to perform its own investigation into liability and may be unwilling to move forward on any claim until that is completed.