1 killed, nearly 40 injured in school bus crash

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A school bus packed with kids barreled into two vehicles, killing one person and injuring nearly 40.

Lake County Sheriffs say the bus may have run a red light, and are doing urine and blood tests on the female bus driver as part of standard operating procedure.

The crash happened at Route 173 and Kilbourne Road near Wadsworth at about 8 a.m. Friday. The bus was going westbound to the Newport Elementary School, and a Jeep Wrangler was heading southbound. A Jeep Cherokee was also hit.

The driver of the Wrangler was killed. Thirty-five children on the bus, and the two passengers in the Cherokee, were sent to hospitals.

Twenty-five total patients — 23  children — were taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville. As of 2 p.m. Friday, only one patient remained at the hospital under observation. All other patients were discharged.

Another 12 kids and several other victims were transported to Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan and St. Catherine’s Hospital in Pleasant Prairie, Wis.

The fire department didn’t have to remove any of the children from the bus.

“Some of the kids were upbeat,  jovial as if they just got off a ride at Great America and other kids were asking for their mother or father and wanted to go home. But when engaged in conversation with these kids and asking them questions about hobbies and sports, they changed the page really quick, and very upbeat and smiling and engaging in conversation,” said Brian Keller, chief of operations for the Lake County sheriff’s office.

Hospital social workers and pastors were also on hand to help counsel the children and their families.




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  • Kathy

    If it was the bus driver's fault, you're right. He/she should've known better than to run a red light with children on the bus. However, do you think that they knew what was going to happen? His/her choice has now changed more than 28 lives forever. I am sure that there will be a lot of legal action stemming from the whole incident, but the focus should be on the families right now, at least until tomorrow.

    • slinky56t

      EVERYBODY posting about this accident needs to drive/ride on a bus. Its just as hard for them to stop as it is for a semi. And the road is a 55mph roadway, right? She should have been watching the traffic signal to know she needed to slow down earlier.

  • Kathy

    God bless all those that were affected by this terrible accident. And my heart goes out to the family of the man who has died.

  • Reggie

    The woman who was reporting this was smiling uncontrollably. I've noticed she does that alot when reporting horrible things. Take Randy whatever her name is off the TV. Its sickening to always see her smiling when talking about death.

  • Alex

    I'm glad the kids sound like they are ok but everybody seems to think the man who died in the jeep is chopped liver. Prayers to that man's family.

  • Courtney

    I have a question if the bus was traveling westbound and the jeep was traveling southbound how did the bus hit the passenger side? It doesn't make sense???

  • jason829us

    There were 18 ambulances on the scene at the time of the accident??? Did they know it was going to happen, or did it happen in an ambulance parking lot?

  • lesley

    This is very upsetting, but I think its time these companies put their foot dow with these bus drivers, most bus drivers drive like idiots, always in a rush and always pulling out in front of people!

  • Roger Whitmore

    Buses are by far some of the safest vehicles on the road. They sit high and have much more padding in the seats. The bus just laid on it's side and did not do a complete rollover. When I got on scene many of the kids were still in the bus and Newport Fire was doing a great job getting them out.. When I go back to tow these vehicles there will be a big clean up at the scene. Much glass and debris litter the area.

  • Shaun

    that intersection use to be just two stop signs on Kilbourne rd (north and south). East and west traffic didn't use to have to stop. I wonder if the school bus driver forgot that there is now a light there. I feel so bad for the driver of the jeep….

  • Sarah

    9 time sout of ten there are more kids on the bus than should be. i can remember being in middle/high school and there always being a ton of kids sitting on the EDGE of seats because there really wasnt room for 3 students to each bench..

  • You are Kidding

    It was great for WGN to alert us on this very tragic accident. Note to the reporter named Randi who did the first part of this story. A man lost his life and there were many children hurt in the accident. The expression on your face was one of JOY. OMG lady, where is the professionalism.

  • someone

    It would be awesome if ppl don't just pass green lights at fullllllllllllllllllllll speeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed and floor it , without looking at both sides .!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! … there are 80 year old ppl driving that cant even tell the red from the green for crying out loud .. My Heart goes for the kids and the poor guy in the Jeep ..

  • Guest

    Hats off to the Firefighters and Paramedics of the Newport Fire Department, under the leadership of Chief Mark Kirschhoffer for the last 22+ years. Lunch at the firehouse was on a longtime friend of the department.

  • Blanca

    My cousin's little boy, 3rd grader, was on this bus. He is only sore but doesn't have any scratches or anything serious. He is although pretty shaken up. But thank God the kids are all okay, although some did suffer some fractured bones. Prayers go out to the driver of the jeep who lost his life. How very sad.

  • gary

    The reason I think there were so many ambulances was because it was a school bus, 2 or 3 emergency vehicles cant carry 30+ injured people.

  • kathy

    People we do not have all the information. Let's try to focus on the family of the dead man and the safety of the children. Any of the drivers could have been at fault. Wait and see before you try to convict any one of the drivers.

  • mary

    its a shame what has happened but I am not surprised.I have seen bus drivers driving as if theyare owners of the roads. Maybe the companies will keep more track on their driving.Many times I have been saying "thank god my kids dont take the bus".

  • banana000

    Not only children, we need to pray for a man who p***ed away.
    This is my friend's dad! she and entire school was shocked this afterenoon and weeping.
    pray for my friend's dad and her family too. please…

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