School districts and school bus operators know that parents are trusting them to safely transport their beloved children to and from school. So these entities screen their drivers carefully, train them thoroughly, and monitor them vigilantly. But sometimes, even all of these efforts could not prevent this Niles school bus accident – especially if the driver has a “medical episode” while behind the wheel.
That’s apparently what happened in the Chicago suburb of Niles a few weeks ago; but thankfully, there were no kids on the bus at the time. Around 2:30pm on Tuesday afternoon, a school bus bound for a school in Des Plaines was traveling west on Oakton Avenue, which forms the border between Niles and Park Ridge in Cook County. According to authorities, the 77-year old bus driver suffered what was referred to as a “medical condition” around Milwaukee Avenue. The bus continued west for about a mile and a half in the eastbound lane, smashing into a total of seven vehicles before finally stopping around Greenwood Avenue. One of the cars that was struck was pushed into the garage of a home. In addition to the bus driver, four other vehicle drivers had to be taken to area hospitals with various injuries.
Though there’s no information on the precise nature of the medical condition, the 77-year old woman may very well have been in good health prior to the episode. However, it still makes the woman and her employer responsible for the four injuries that occurred due to the runaway bus accident. That means that the four victims could file personal injury lawsuits against the woman as well as Septran, the private company which operates the school buses. These suits could allow the plaintiffs to collect reimbursement for medical expenses as well as unearned wages from time lost at work.