Bus, car collide in Gilman

Bus, car collide in Gilman

GILMAN — All 22 Iroquois West Middle School students taken to a Watseka hospital after the bus they were riding in was struck head-on Thursday were treated and released, the school district's superintendent said.

"We had 23, including the bus driver, transported to the hospital, and they've all been treated and released with just minor bumps, bruises and soreness," Linda Dvorak said.

Dvorak said 37 students were on the bus, headed to the middle school in Onarga, when it was hit head-on by a car driven by Delon T. Dalton of South Holland shortly after 8 a.m. near 309 S. Crescent St. in Gilman.

Twenty-two students were taken to Iroquois Memorial Hospital in Watseka, while 15 were released to their parents at the scene.

Dalton was taken to Iroquois Memorial Hospital and later airlifted to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. A Carle official said Dalton was in fair condition.

The bus, driven by Gloria M. Huizenga of Crescent City, was southbound on South Crescent Street when Dalton's Buick passenger car crossed the center line as he was negotiating a curve, striking the bus head on, a news release from the Gilman Police Department said.

Dalton was ticketed for driving with a suspended license, operating an uninsured vehicle and improper lane usage.

Dvorak said the students on the bus handled the situation well.

"They did very well. This is what you practice drills for. The kids were wonderful," Dvorak said. "They did exactly what they were supposed to do.

The parents of the students on the bus were notified immediately, Dvorak said, but the district was unable to call other parents of students in the district until about 45 minutes later because the district's phone lines were "jammed up" due to the number of parents calling in.

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