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Chicago school bus driver tried to keep quiet about bus accident

Chicago police say that a school bus driver was involved in an accident that injured nine children, yet he failed to report it right away. The accident occurred at around 9:15 a.m. on May 15. A Chicago police public affairs spokesman says that the bus was travelling westbound down Lake Street in Chicago when it allegedly grazed a CTA support beam as it was turning north onto Damen Avenue. The bus was full of kids at the time and was heading towards A.N. Pritzker School on Schiller Street when the collision occurred.

It is unclear why the driver did not stop at that time; instead, he continued on to the school and dropped the children off as if nothing had happened. A parent who stands with his daughter every day at the bus stop said that the driver on the day of the accident was not the normal driver for that route. He also said that his daughter corroborated the account of the driver failing to stop the bus following the accident. He says that his daughter's head was snapped around a bit during the accident and that he hopes she didn't suffer from whiplash.

School officials went into high gear after they later learned of the bus accident. They immediately pulled children from their classes and sent them to the hospital as a precautionary measure. They also called parents and notified them around 10:00 a.m. A total of nine children were sent to two local hospitals for treatment. Some of them had suffered minor injuries. Police have not said whether they intend to cite the driver.

Unquestionably, the most precious cargo a driver can haul is children. That is why there are strict rules and regulations in place regarding the hiring and training of school bus operators. Parents of children injured by a distracted, poorly trained or unqualified driver may be entitled to sue the driver and his or her employer to recover medical costs and other ancillary expenses related to the care of their children.

Source: CBC 2 Chicago, "9 Kids Hospitalized After School Bus Crash" No author given, May. 15, 2014

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