Two buses carrying children in a Des Plaines Park District program were involved in a minor collision this morning, according to Des Plaines authorities.
Seven children were taken to three nearby hospitals with “very minor injuries” including scrapes and nausea, which Des Plaines Fire Department Chief Alan Wax said was probably attributed to the heat.
At the time of the crash, the two school buses were carrying 73 children and 12 adults – including the two drivers, Wax said.
Des Plaines Park District Executive Director John Hecker said the children ranged in age from 5 to 10 years old, and are part of a park district day camp program. Hecker said the group was heading from nearby Lake Park to a Glencoe beach at the time of the accident.
The accident occurred about 10:17 a.m. in Des Plaines where Lee Street turns into Higgins Road, Wax said.
Des Plaines police Chief William Kushner said preliminary information indicates that one of the buses rear-ended the other. Paramedics were on the scene checking the children for any injuries as a precaution, Kushner said.
Kushner said an officer on the scene put the ages of the children at from 5 to 13 years old.
The park district contracts the two school buses for use and they are driven by park district staff, Hecker said. While park district officials and police are still investigating, Hecker said it appears a driver cut in front of the lead bus, which caused it to hit the brakes and in turn led to the rear-end collision.
Emergency personnel moved the buses and children to a nearby parking lot where the remaining kids and adults waited inside a building, Wax said.
Hecker said park district buses took the uninjured children back to Lake Park, where they will spend the rest of the day indoors.
Parents of the seven children taken to hospitals have been notified, Hecker said.
“We’re in the process of notifying the other parents that their children are safe and in the building,” he said.