Park Ridge Police Respond to and Manage a Multi-Vehicle Crash
On January 29, 2013, at approximately 2:29 pm, Park Ridge Police officers responded to a series of motor vehicle crashes, involving a school bus, occurring on Oakton Street, beginning at Oriole Avenue and culminating at Greenwood Street. These crashes caused Oakton Street to be closed between Milwaukee Avenue and Greenwood Street from approximately 2:29 pm until 7:00 pm. The incident occurred on the border between the city of Park Ridge and the city of Niles. Due to the location of the crashes, the Park Ridge Police Department assumed command of the scene and of the investigation. There were no students on the bus at the time of the incident.
Officers from the Park Ridge and Niles Police Departments, arrived on scene and determined that the chain of accidents began near Oriole Avenue when the school bus, heading westbound on Oakton Street, crossed the center line and struck a car coming eastbound. The bus continued westbound in the eastbound lanes and struck a car near Ozark Avenue and did not stop. The bus continued westbound in the eastbound lanes, disregarded the red traffic signal at Prospect Avenue and struck a third vehicle which was waiting at the light. This resulted in that vehicle being pushed into a residential home in that area causing minor damage to the structure. The bus continued westbound and struck a fourth vehicle which was travelling eastbound on Oakton Street. After striking that vehicle, the bus continued driving westbound in the eastbound lanes and stuck a vehicle near Fairview. The bus continued and collided head on with a vehicle near 821 W. Oakton. The force of the collision caused that vehicle to careen backwards into a vehicle driving behind it. The bus was finally brought to rest as it approached Greenwood Avenue and was struck, head on, by a taxi cab which was in the process of making a turn onto eastbound Oakton.
Officers from the Park Ridge and Niles police departments coordinated the management of the scene while members of the Park Ridge, Niles, Rosemont, Skokie, Morton Grove and North Maine Fire Departments evaluated the injuries of the motorists involved and transported those in need of medical attention to area hospitals. Several volunteer community members from the City of Park Ridge assisted as well.
The investigation revealed that the driver of the school bus, Elaine C. Delaney, 77 of Wheeling, IL suffered from a medical condition resulting in the loss of her ability to control the vehicle. She has been issued several traffic citations including Driving in the Wrong Lane, Disobeying a Traffic Control Signal and Driving Too Fast For Conditions.
Two motorists were transported to Lutheran General Hospital by the Park Ridge Fire Department, one motorists was transported to Resurrection Hospital and one motorist to Skokie Hospital by the Niles Fire Department and one motorist was transported to Resurrection Hospital by the Rosemont Fire Department . Injuries are reported to be non-life threatening and include a broken arm and a cracked sternum.