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Youngest victim dies in Naperville van-bus crash

An accident between a school bus and a minivan in Naperville during late April critically injured a toddler. Despite a weeklong effort by trauma experts at Loyola University Medical Center, the child died from her injuries.

With the elevation of the injury raising the car crash to the status of a fatal car accident, more pressure is placed on investigators to determine how, and why, the accident took place. Three others were also injured in the collision, including the drivers of both vehicles and a 4-year-old boy, a passenger in the minivan.

A 36-year-old Oswego woman was driving a Chrysler Town & Country along 248th Avenue on a Monday morning. Police say the southbound vehicle was approaching Lapp Lane, near the Aurora line, around 9 a.m.

Investigators believe the minivan driver suddenly noticed a vehicle stopped ahead of her to make a turn. The Chrysler driver swerved to avoid striking the car. The minivan moved into the lanes of opposing traffic and was struck by an Indian Prairie School District bus.

The impact drove the vehicles toward the northeast side of the intersection. The minivan landed on its roof in a ditch. The bus remained upright and stopped not far away, against a group of trees bordering a backyard.

The youngest victim, the Oswego child who later died, was airlifted to the trauma facility in Maywood. The 36-year-old minivan driver, and the boy who was riding with her, were transported, along with the 56-year-old school bus operator, to Edward Hospital in Naperville. Police say none of the three suffered life-threatening injuries.

Investigators have kept the case open, still looking for statements from witnesses who may have seen the accident.

Reports have not stated the nature of the relationships between the female minivan driver and the children. It is unknown if the children are in any way related to the driver of the Chrysler Town & Country.

Source: beaconnews.suntimes.com, "Toddler dies a week after school bus-van crash in Naperville," May 1, 2012

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