Updated: 4 minor injuries in school bus-car crash

 

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FISHER — One Fisher student remains in an Urbana hospital for observation following a school bus accident Friday morning.

Fisher Superintendent Barb Thompson said four of the 35 students on the school bus were taken by ambulance Friday morning to the hospital for minor injuries, including neck pain, bumps and bruises, and all but one student has been released.

She said the fourth is being kept overnight for observation.

Thompson said the bus driver, who was wearing her seat belt, was taken to the hospital for evaluation. The bus driver was still at the hospital when Thompson left there Friday morning, but Thompson said the driver was to be released soon.

All four injured students were riding at the back of the bus when it was hit by a car near the rear wheels on the driver's side, according to Thompson, who immediately headed to the scene when she was notified. Staff at the grade school and junior/senior high building began contacting parents of the students involved to let them know about the accident.

It happened shortly after 8 a.m. Friday at the intersection of U.S. 136 and Illinois 47, west of Fisher. A dense fog advisory was in effect at the time.

The school bus was driven by a 62-year-old female from Mahomet, who is a veteran driver, according to Thompson. Carrying students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the bus was on its usual morning route taking students to school in Fisher.

Illinois state police said the bus stopped at the four-way stop and was proceeding east on U.S. 136 when a 2004 four-door Hyundai car, traveling south on Illinois 47, slid through the intersection, striking the back, driver's side of the bus.

The driver of the car, David Curry, 56, of Oglesby, was wearing his seat belt and was not injured. But he was ticketed for failing to reduce speed to avoid a crash, according to state police. Oglesby's car was towed from the scene, but school officials were able to drive the bus.

Thompson said she credits the bus driver, police and other emergency personnel with keeping the kids calm. Those students who were not injured were transferred to another bus and taken to school.

"That will get your adrenaline going," Thompson said of the start to the school day, adding that the rest of the day was uneventful. "We're very fortunate and thankful. It could have been so much worse."