BOONE COUNTY (WREX) - More than a dozen North Boone students end the school day with a trip to the hospital after their bus hits a semi. Ambulances from several local departments responded to the intersection of Illinois Rt. 76 and North Boone School Rd. just after 3 pm.
The semi was heading south on Rt. 76. The driver tells 13 News the next thing he knew, a school bus turned right in front of him.
"He [the semi driver] was headed right broadside into the bus," explains N. Boone Fire Chief Gail Worley. "He said he tried to swerve from where all the kids were seated because it did bend some of the seats over from the side impact. So far, nothing looks really serious. It could have been a lot worse."
The bus had a stop sign. The semi didn't.
Police say 17 students from Upper Elementary School were on board, plus their driver. Chief Worley adds he saw mainly bumps and bruises, a cut on the head, and possibly a broken ankle.
"They were pretty calm. I mean, they were shook up. But nothing out of the ordinary for what they went through."
The school district released a brief statement that "as a precaution all students are being transported to the hospital for evaluation. The majority appear to be okay with some minor abrasions."
At tonight's North Boone School Board meeting, Superintendent Rita Broadnax refused to speak with 13 News about the crash.
Word of the accident quickly spread in town at Poplar Grove's grocery store. "There was definitely a buzz about it," says worker Brad Pound. "At least for like a half an hour period of time everyone was just like, 'Did you hear about it?' Everyone was pretty concerned."
Police shut down parts of Rt. 76 until about 5:30 pm. Investigators on the scene tried to reconstruct the crash.
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