As you might expect, school bus collisions that occur in Illinois receive a lot of publicity not only across the state, but often around the country as well. Because children are likely to be victimized in these types of accidents, people tend to be concerned about the events that led to the incident. Invariably, the focus turns to the driver of the school bus as well as the district or company that operated the vehicle. But it’s frequently the case that the fault for such a crash lies elsewhere.
There appears to be some question about what caused a school bus collision in Lake County near Wadsworth. On Friday morning around 8am, a school bus was heading west on Illinois Route 173 toward Newport Elementary School. At the intersection of and North Kilbourne Road – which is about six miles west of Lake Michigan, three miles east of I-94, and two miles south of the Wisconsin border – the bus struck a Jeep Wrangler and rolled over onto its side, and a total of 34 students received injuries, most of which were minor. But the 62-year old man driving the sport utility vehicle died of his injuries about an hour and fifteen minutes later.
Initial reports indicated that the woman driving the bus may have run a red light, but Lake County Sheriff’s Department officials said later that the had received conflicting witness accounts and could not ascertain which driver was at fault. If the bus driver is found to be at fault, the surviving family members of the 62-year old man could file a wrongful death lawsuit against her and the school district. But if the deceased driver is determined to have caused the crash, he would have no such legal standing; moreover, the parents of the 34 children could potentially file personal injury lawsuits against his estate.