1 dead, 7 injured after Michigan Avenue crash sends CTA bus onto plaza

CHICAGO (WLS) -- One person was killed and seven others were injured in an accident involving a CTA bus and at least three other vehicles at Michigan Avenue and Lake Street in downtown Chicago, police said.

A 51-year-old woman who was pinned under the bus was rushed to Northwestern Hospital in critical condition, where she later died. Her name has not yet been released.

PHOTOS: CTA bus crash on Michigan Avenue

Witnesses said the CTA bus swerved to avoid another car, then careened into pedestrians, struck other cars and wound up on a pedestrian plaza in front of 205 N. Michigan Avenue during the Tuesday evening rush hour.

"That car was trying to run the light, sir. That's what he was trying to do," said Sandra Taylor, a witness. "The bus truly was trying to avoid it."

"By the time we looked up, the bus just turned the corner and jumped the curb and I saw the driver fall out of his seat and fly back," said Melissa Peraz, a witness.

Cell phone video showed a woman who was crossing the street trapped underneath the bus.

"I was talking to her. I told her to hang in there, help is on the way. Rubbing her back, but it was just nothing," said Charles Valiquette, a witness.

Valiquette said he tried to free the trapped woman, but the bus wouldn't budge.

"I don't think she saw the bus coming or heard it. There were other people in the crosswalk that saw the bus coming and made it, I don't know why she was singled out," Valiquette said.

"If those men could have lifted that bus, they would have. But they couldn't, she was stuck under there," Taylor said.

The woman pinned under the bus and the 48-year-old bus driver were the most seriously injured. Five others, including a child, were hospitalized with minor injuries.

A number of people, including those who were in other vehicles that were hit, refused treatment at the scene.

Aside from the driver, officials said the bus was empty at the time of the accident.

Crews removed debris and backed the long, accordion-style bus off the pedestrian plaza on Tuesday evening.

The CTA is now reviewing surveillance video from on board the bus to help determine what caused the crash.

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