WADSWORTH, Ill. – One person died and more than two dozen elementary school children were taken to hospitals Friday after a school bus crash in northern Illinois that left two cars mangled and the bus on its side, authorities said.
All 35 people aboard the bus survived the crash in Wadsworth some 45 miles north of Chicago, Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran Jr. said.
The bus driver may have run a red light, Curran said. The bus driver was speaking with investigators.
"The bus ... struck the vehicle, essentially close to a T-bone on the passenger section of the Jeep Wrangler," Curran said. Television footage showed the bus on its side with the two wrecked cars nearby and debris scattered in an adjacent farm field.
The coroner's office said a male died at the scene but did not provide other details. An autopsy is expected later today.
Josh McColough, a spokesman at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, said two children were in fair-to-serious condition, and 23 others taken to the hospital were listed as good-to-fair.
At Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan, spokesman John Griffin said one student there was in fair condition and five others were in good condition.
Most of the children climbed out of the bus through the back exit.
"Some of the kids were upbeat, jovial as if they just got off a ride at Great America," Lake County Sheriff Chief Brian Keller said. "Other kids were asking for their mother or father and wanted to go home."
The accident happened around 8 a.m. about a mile from Newport Elementary School, which has about 400 students.
Garcia Cano reported from Chicago.