More details are emerging about a catastrophic Chicago school bus accident that occurred over the weekend. According to investigators, the junior varsity hockey team from Chicago’s Saint Ignatius College Prep High School were across the border in Indiana for a tournament. The 23 students, two coaches, and bus driver were on their way back to their hotel at about 8:00 p.m. Saturday night when the Chicago school bus accident occurred.
Semi-Truck Driver Reported for Erratic Driving Before Chicago School Bus Accident
By all current accounts, the school bus was properly operated in all ways. A semi-truck that had been operating erratically for some time crossed its lane of traffic and slammed into the Chicago school bus. Multiple vehicles on the roadway were endangered by this reckless and grossly negligent conduct of the semi driver.
Devasting Impact Injures at Least 16 People – Three Critically
The force of the impact caused the bus to flip in its side. When that occurred, ejecting at least one teenage student from the bus. The hockey player thrown from the bus is in critical condition. In addition, two other people who evidently remained inside the bus following the collision are also listed in critical condition. In fact, hospital personnel described the condition of all three individuals as being “very critical.”
At least 13 other people in the Chicago school bus were also taken to area hospitals. The condition of these other individuals is not specifically known at this time. However, it is believed that they have not been as seriously injured as the three people listed in critical condition.
Semi Driver Appeared Highly Intoxicated at Time of Collision
After colliding with the school bus, the semi-truck driver continued down the roadway. He ultimately drove the big rig into a ditch.
A few minutes before the crash, dispatchers were notified that what proved to be the semi-truck in question was driving at an excessive speed, swerving between lanes, and leaving the roadway as it drove into the town of Warsaw, Indiana, on U.S. 30. The accident happened just inside the Warsaw town limits.
Police were already en route to the reported location of the hazardously operated semi at the time the Chicago school bus accident occurred. Police report:
- When they reached the semi, they observed a strong smell of alcohol in the cab
- The semi driver exhibited slurred speech
- The semi driver failed a field sobriety test
- The rig operator refused to take a breathalyzer test
- They obtained a search warrant to take blood samples from the driver at an area hospital
The police did not report whether or not the semi-truck driver sustained any injuries himself. It appears that the man either did not sustain any injuries or if he did, they were very minor, in contrast with what some of the other accident victims experienced.
Rig Operator Faces Criminal Charges
The driver is a 58-year-old resident of New York. The trucking company is based in New Jersey. The semi operator is being detained in a local jail.
Prosecutors filed charges against the driver that include operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and causing serious bodily harm. Additional charges are expected as well.
Legal Rights of Chicago School Bus Accident Victims
In the aftermath of the tragic semi-truck Chicago school bus accident, victims have very important legal rights that need to be protected. If you are victim of the accident, or a parent of one of the students, you can learn more about these rights by contacting a Doan Law Firm Chicago school bus accident lawyer at (312) 967-0000. Our Chicago school bus accident lawyer phone line is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We can schedule an initial consultation for you with an experienced, compassionate Chicago school bus accident lawyer at our offices in Chicago, at your home, at the hospital, or any location that is convenient for you. A virtual case evaluation can be scheduled online. There is never a charge for an initial consultation with a Chicago school bus accident attorney from our firm.
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