Van driver dies in fiery CTA bus crash, ID'd as Eric West, Jr.

The driver of the van involved in a fatal crash with a CTA bus has been identified as Eric West, Jr.
April 23, 2014 5:59:09 PM PDT
The driver of a van that collided with an empty CTA bus has been identified as Eric West, Jr. Three other people were hurt in the crash.

Photos: Fatal, fiery CTA bus-van crash

One person was killed and several others were hurt when a van slammed into the CTA bus and burst into flames near South Chicago and Commercial Avenues at about 12:45 a.m. Wednesday, according to investigators.

The parents of the fatal victim said West, 25, was the driver of the van involved in the Calumet Heights crash.

The CTA bus going south on Commercial Ave. collided with West's van, which was going east on South Chicago Ave. Chicago Police News Affairs said the van burst into flames shortly after impact.

There were three people in the van, including West, police said. There were no passengers in the CTA bus at the time.

The passengers were helped out by people who were at a bar across the street. Firefighters extricated West, who was pinned inside the vehicle as a result of the crash.

The driver of the van was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead at 1:42 a.m. Wednesday, according to Fire Media Affairs. The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed the fatality, but did not provide additional information.

Both passengers and the CTA bus driver are still hospitalized. Fire Media Affairs said one passenger was taken to Advocate Christ and the other was taken to Northwest Memorial Hospital, both in "serious-to-critical" condition. The bus driver was taken to Advocate Trinity Hospital and listed in "fair-to-serious" condition.

Police are still trying to determine the exact circumstances of the crash and who was at fault.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.


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