For the majority of the kids in Illinois, this is the last week before their holiday break. Most of the students are probably counting the days until their Christmas vacation begins. But none of them were counting on being in a Palatine school bus accident.
Unfortunately, that’s what happened to about 25 kids in the Cook County village of Palatine this week. On Tuesday afternoon around 4:45pm, a bus was taking the students home from Winston Campus Junior High School when it collided with a pickup truck on Bayside Drive where it intersects with the southbound frontage road of Illinois State Route 53 (almost directly across the highway from Shalom Memorial Park). Three students were rushed to nearby hospitals with what are said to be whiplash injuries. The driver of the pickup had to be extricated from the vehicle, the bed of which was partially torn off. The bus driver was uninjured.
Police are still investigating how the school bus accident occurred. It’s unknown whether the pickup failed to yield the right of way to the bus, or the bus didn’t see the truck and crashed into it on the frontage road.
If the pickup truck driver is found to be at fault, he or she could be named as the defendant in personal injury lawsuits filed by the parents of the injured youngsters. Since whiplash can cause long-lasting or even permanent injuries, damages to cover the hefty medical expenses could be awarded to the plaintiffs along with monetary damages for mental anguish.
If the bus driver is discovered to be responsible for the school bus accident, then those aforementioned personal injury lawsuits would be filed both against the driver and the Community Consolidated School District which oversees transportation for kids to and from school. And the pickup driver could file a personal injury lawsuit against these defendants as well.