There was a terrible bus accident this morning in the north suburbs of Chicago. Early reports indicate that the driver of a school bus ran a red light and collided with two SUVs near Wadsworth. The driver of one of those SUVs was killed in the collision, according to the Chicago Tribune.
A Lake County Sheriff described the collision as nearly a t-bone with all vehicles suffering significant damage. The SUV of the person killed was destroyed from the rear seat forward and the bus fell over and landed on its side, shattering several windows.
The collision occurred at the intersection of Highway 173 and Kilbourne Road in Newport Township with the bus reportedly was on its way to Newport Elementary School to drop off students for the day.
Children from the bus were examined at the scene and placed either on another bus with paramedics or in ambulances to be transported to hospitals. Two passengers in an SUV and 35 students from the bus were injured and examined. The driver of the bus did not appear to sustain any serious injuries but was shaken and upset at the scene.
Most of the children, believed to be in grades kindergarten through fifth, appeared to suffer minor injuries including bumps and bruises. However there were fractured hands, head injuries, and other broken bones. Some of the students were distraught at the scene and crying for their parents.
At least one eye witness stated that the bus driver ran a red light. Area residents said the light was just installed last year and that its presence had made some of the neighbors feel safer.
Unfortunately school buses are often involved in collisions and cause injuries to thousands of children every year. In 2008, 123 school-aged children were injured in school bus collisions in Illinois alone with another 71 non school-aged passengers injured as well. Since most children do not wear seat belts on school buses, they have a high risk of serious injury, especially when a bus rolls over as it did in this case.
It can be particularly scary to have a child involved in a school bus accident because parents entrust the safety of their children to bus drivers. Most parents believe that a school bus and their drivers are safe and will put the safety of the children first. However that does not always happen.
Bus drivers, like any other driver, can be guilty of driving negligently. Bus drivers can run red lights, speed, follow too closely, and get distracted just like other negligent drivers. However the risks associated with negligence are much higher for bus drivers because they are often responsible the safety of dozens of children at any given time.
The lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. have represented many who have been injured in Chicago area bus collisions regardless of which driver was at fault for the crash. We have also handled many cases involving the CTA, PACE Bus, and other private coaches. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a collsion, call an Illinois school bus lawyer at Abels & Annes, P.C. for a free consultation. Call us toll-free at (855) 529-2442.
Man Charged with Drug Possession Following Crash with Chicago PD Squad Car, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published April 3, 2013
Pedestrian Killed Next to Disabled Car Near O’Hare Airport, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published April 1, 2013
Police investigate whether school bus driver ran red light, By Bridget Doyle, Carlos Sadovi and Gregory Trotter, April 5, 2013, the Chicago Tribune