They were on their way back to the high school after attending an off-campus vocational class when the accident happened. All the students, the bus driver and the driver of the pickup truck were taken to three area hospitals. Fortunately, none of the injuries were life-threatening.
The scene: on a rural intersection north of Serena, Ill., a bus sits on its side in a ditch while the pickup truck it collided with rests about 50 yards away. It was around 11 a.m. Tuesday morning when the bus carrying 21 Serena High School students rolled over after it crashed into the truck.
"There was a stop intersection and the school bus had no stop intersection. The school bus pulled through the intersection and it appears right now -- I'll stress that it appears right now that the other vehicle got out into the intersection in way, shape, or form or another and hit the bus," said Tom Templeton, LaSalle Co. Sheriff.
The sheriff says that it's possible the driver of the pickup blew through the stop sign, although the accident is still under investigation. The truck was badly damaged as it was run over by the rear door wheel.
Everyone involved, including all 21 students in the accident, were taken to area hospitals.
"They're all out of the bus, and there was no extrication that was needed, and the school made timely notification of the parents," said Templeton.
Eight kids were taken to the Ottawa Regional Hospital. They came in with cuts, scrapes, and bruises, but nothing serious. The hospital emergency room staff was prepared for the worst.
"Fortunately at our facility, no one has major injuries. We were able to evaluate and treat everybody as quickly as possible and able to discharge them to the emergency room," said Dr. Neil McClymont, Ottawa Regional Hospital.
Ottawa Regional Hospital managed to get all those kids out of the hospital in about two hours. The other kids and driver were taken to two other hospitals and have also been treated and released.
Meantime, LaSalle County Sheriff's Department continues to investigate the accident.