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Dozens of children hurt in Illinois school bus crash

An Illinois school bus collision recently sent more than 40 injury victims to four different medical facilities near Chicago. A pickup truck crashed into the student-filled vehicle as the bus was travelling along a regular Monday morning pickup route. Driver negligence has not been determined.

Response teams divided the bus accident victims among St. Mary's Hospital, Valley West Community Hospital, OSF Saint Elizabeth Medical Center and Morris Hospital. None of the victims - drivers of both vehicles and numerous children - died or suffered grave injuries.

Officials from each healthcare facility and emergency responders congratulated one another on a successful collaborative effort. The medical director of the Marseilles ambulance service commended the hospitals for being well prepared for the influx of mostly school-age victims.

Administrators from participating hospitals issued statements thanking the emergency crews and other regional medical facilities for effective responsiveness.

A dozen victims were sent to OSF Saint Elizabeth Medical Center, 10, including the bus driver, to St. Mary's Hospital, five children to Valley West Community Hospital and 16 accident victims to Morris Hospital. Some of the victims were related to Morris Hospital workers.

The bulk of media coverage focused on the children's safety and survival. Now that it's certain none of the injuries were life-threatening, the attention will turn to the investigation of circumstances surrounding the accident.

The injury of a child is heart-breaking, expensive and time consuming for parents as they suffer watching a child in pain. The children who survived the school bus crash are in no danger of dying. They may be facing long-term recoveries and temporary or permanent disabilities that require round-the-clock care.

One or both parents may have to abandon a career to remain with a recovering child, depleting the income of a family who may already be facing exorbitant medical bills.

Personal injury lawsuits help victims and their families recover financially from physical and emotional harm caused by a negligent party. A jury will award damages to plaintiffs who prove carelessness was responsible for an accident.

Source: morrisdailyherald.com, "Hospitals feel bus accident had fortunate outcome," Sept. 14, 2012

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