Eleven Children Hospitalized In Crash Involving Three School Buses In Channahon

Nearly a dozen children are recovering following a crash involving three schools buses on I-55 in Channahon. State police say three Reed Custer Middle School buses were traveling north as traffic slowed to a stop on Tuesday, May 21st. One of the buses rear-ended another bus, which hit the third bus between Arsenal and Bluff roads. Eleven children were sent to the hospital with minor injuries, while the rest were returned to their school to be released to their parents. The driver of the bus that initially crashed was cited for Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid a Crash.

Press release below from Channahon Fire Protection District

On May 21, 2024, at approximately 8:33 AM, the Channahon Fire Protection District was  dispatched for a vehicle accident on Interstate 55 Northbound at approximately Mile Marker 246.  

Upon arrival, crews reported 3 school buses located on Interstate 55 Northbound on the Des  Plaines River Bridge. Further investigation revealed a rear end type collision accident involving  the school buses. A small fire was located in one of the school bus’s battery compartment but  quickly extinguished by fire crews. The bus was evacuated and moved to an adjacent bus for  safety, 

Each bus was transporting a group of students ranging between 20-30 students in addition to  school district staff and drivers. 

After completing triage of 103 students and adults, 12 students sustained minor injuries and were  transported to area hospitals for evaluation. Ambulances from Channahon, Minooka, Troy,  Elwood, Wilmington, and Braidwood Fire Protection Districts assisted with patient transports to  local area hospitals. Coal City Fire Protection District ambulance and Troy Fire Protection District 

Engine assisted at the scene. 

Reed Custer Middle School District Administration and Braidwood Police Department coordinated with fire command authorities to establish accountability of all students, staff, and transportation  staff. A reunification area was later established at 23081 W Bluff Road, Love’s Travel Center with  the assistance of Channahon Police Department. Passengers at the scene were transported by  additional buses by the Reed Custer School District to the interim reunification area. Bus  passenger counts were confirmed by Reed Custer Administration after arriving at the reunification  area. 

All buses, escorted by Reed Custer School District Administration and Braidwood Police  Department, returned to Reed Custer Middle School to be reunited with parents. 

Interstate 55 traffic control was provided by the Illinois State Police and Illinois Department of  Transportation. The northbound lanes between Arsenal Road and Bluff Road were hindered by  the accident for approximately 3 hours resulting from the emergency response and mitigation of  the scene by tow recovery units. 

The cause of the accident is currently unknown at the time of this press release. Illinois State  Police Troop #3 is handling the investigation of the incident.