UPDATE: 'It was like an explosion'

UPDATE: 'It was like an explosion'

Updated at 5:15 p.m.

CHAMPAIGN — None of the 13 International Prep Academy students aboard was injured when a school bus crashed into a house around 2:30 p.m. today.

The bus knocked over a mailbox and ran over a tree before hitting the corner of the house at 1106 W. Kirby Ave. The bus driver was taken to a local hospital, and the homeowner, who was inside during the crash, was not injured.

Based on the preliminary investigation, the bus driver suffered a medical emergency that led to the crash, according to a news release from Champaign Unit 4 and the Champaign Police Department. The crash remains under investigation.

"The driver was taken to review medical needs, if any," Unit 4 Superintendent Susan Zola said at the scene of the crash. "We don't have any information on the status of the driver, but my understanding is the driver was alert during the transport."

The students were taken back to International Prep Academy to be picked up by parents and guardians, who were notified of the crash.

Jennifer Schadt-McCoy, who lives next to the house damaged, was home with her daughter, Anndra McCoy when the crash happened.

"It thought it was like an explosion," McCoy said.

"We opened the door, and I was like...there's a bus in the backyard," Schadt-McCoy said.

Schadt-McCoy said she helped get the bus driver and students out of the bus until Champaign police and fire personnel arrived.

"They were all crying and screaming," she said of the students on the bus. "It was a scary situation for everyone, I'm sure."

During the first few weeks of school, students do a bus safety drill, Zola said.

"My guess is that the students on that bus probably participated last year," she said. "And then will participate again in the next few weeks."

She said accidents happen from time to time, but that accidents like this aren't typical.

"We serve 10,000 students, we run 66 buses and transport about 4,000 students each day when schools are up and running," Zola said. "We recognize that in a large organization, we'll have a situation now and again. This isn't typical, but our staff and Champaign police and Champaign fire responded very appropriately and in an expedient way to secure the area and make sure individuals were safe and cared for."

 

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CHAMPAIGN — None of the 13 elementary school students aboard was injured when a school bus crashed into a house around 2:30 p.m. today.

The bus first ran over a tree before making impact with the corner of the house at 1106 W. Kirby Ave. The bus driver was taken to a local hospital and the homeowner, who was inside during the crash, was not injured.

Champaign Unit 4 Superintendent Susan Zola was on the scene this afternoon to confirm the crash details. The students were transported out of the area after being helped off the bus by emergency personnel. Zola said their parents were notified.

This story is developing.

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