BLOOMINGTON — No new information was released Thursday on the cause of Wednesday afternoon's crash between a Unit 5 school bus and a car that left three students and the drivers injured.
The collision on U.S. 150 at Abraham Road, between Bloomington and Downs, happened around 4 p.m. and resulted in the bus overturning. The bus was carrying students from Evans Junior High School at the time; Unit 5 officials said 47 children were on board.
The cause remains under investigation. There also is nothing new on whether any tickets have been issued in connection with the crash.
Unit 5 officials said their initial reports indicate the bus driver was not at fault.
“The injuries appear to be minor considering the seriousness of the crash," said Unit 5 spokesperson Dayna Brown, adding that a special location was set up at the school on Thursday where guidance counselors "were available to talk with students as needed. Most students are moving about the day according to their regular schedule.”
At the Unit 5 school board meeting Wednesday night, Superintendent Mark Daniel said, “We thank our lucky stars the students (involved in the crash) are now home with their parents. We were very fortunate.”
Three students and the bus driver were taken to local hospitals, said Unit 5 officials. The driver of the car also was injured, according to police at the scene.
State police are investigating because the accident occurred on a U.S. highway.
Students were examined at the scene by first responders, and those who were not injured were taken by another Unit 5 bus back to Evans, which is on U.S. 150 about half a mile northwest of the crash scene. Parents were told to gather there to pick up their children.
Andrea Smiley was at the school after the accident to pick up her nephew, a student who was on the bus when it crashed.
“My sister called me and said there was an accident but that my nephew wasn’t hurt. The school handled everything well,” said Smiley.
Unit 5 attorney Curt Richardson also was at the school as students were bused back to the building.
"Students returning to the school were shaken up as one would guess. We had a few students request ice packs for bumps and bruises," he said.
Richardson said school officials will be available Thursday to speak with students affected by the crash.
"We touched base with all the parents who had students with minor injuries and they're doing well. We feel very blessed. There are lessons to be learned through this and things we'll do better in the future, but all students were accounted for and reunited with their families," said Richardson.
Officers from the McLean County Sheriff's Department, and the Bloomington, Heyworth and LeRoy police departments and ambulances from several area fire departments also were at the scene.