School bus driver, 77, ticketed in Park Ridge crashes
Several vehicle accidents followed after a school bus driver lost control of her vehicle due to a medical condition on Tuesday afternoon, causing her to drive the wrong way down Oakton Street from Oriole Avenue in Niles to Greenwood Avenue in Park Ridge. The bus did not have any children on it. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 30, 2013 1:48PM
PARK RIDGE — A 77-year-old school bus driver has been issued several tickets after a series of crashes Tuesday in Park Ridge and Niles after she suffered a medical emergency. There were no students on the bus.
The crashes caused Oakton Street to be closed between Milwaukee Avenue and Greenwood Street from about 2:30 p.m. until 7 p.m.
Police determined bus driver Elaine C. Delaney, 77, of Wheeling suffered a medical emergency resulting in the loss of her ability to control the vehicle. Her tickets included ones for driving in the wrong lane, disobeying a traffic control signal and driving too fast for conditions, Park Ridge police said in a news release.
Two motorists were taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, two motorists were taken to Resurrection Hospital and one was taken to Skokie Hospital, police said. Injuries were reported to be non-life threatening and include a broken arm and a cracked sternum.
The series of crashes happened about 2:30 p.m. on Oakton Street, beginning at Oriole Avenue and coming to an end at Greenwood Street, Park Ridge police said. The crashes took place on the border between the Park Ridge and Niles.
The chain of collisions began near Oriole Avenue when the school bus, heading west on Oakton Street, crossed the center line and struck a car coming east, Park Ridge police said. The bus continued west in the eastbound lanes and struck a car near Ozark Avenue and did not stop. The bus went through a red light at Prospect Avenue and struck a third vehicle, which was waiting at the light. This caused that vehicle to be pushed into a home, resulting in minor damage to the structure, police said.
The bus continued west and struck a fourth vehicle, which was eastbound on Oakton Street. After striking that vehicle, the bus continued westbound in the east 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 came to rest as it approached Greenwood Avenue and was struck, head-on, by a taxi cab that was 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 took those in need of medical attention to area hospitals. Several volunteer community members from Park Ridge also assisted.