WOOD RIVER, IL - A 13-year-old girl was hit by a Madison County Transit bus near the intersection of Illinois Rt. #111 at Hawthorne Avenue Monday morning. The girl was walking to school when she was struck by the bus at around 7:40 a.m.
“She stopped, kind of paused a little bit, then walked across the highway,” said Wood River Police Chief Brad Wells. “The bus did not have time to stop and struck her.”
Police said the girl was treated at the scene by emergency personnel. The girl was flown by Arch Air Medical Service helicopter to a St. Louis area hospital with serious injuries.
According to Agency for Community Transit, the company that operates Madison County Transit, a 62-year-old female bus driver was drug and alcohol tested, per policy, and has been placed on administrative leave pending those test results. “We are deeply troubled by this incident,” said ACT Executive Director, Jerry Kane. “Our thoughts and prayers are with this young woman and her family. We also want to thank and commend the Wood River Police Department, the Wood River Fire Department, and the Roxana Police Department who were on the scene immediately.”
Chief Wells said the girl, who attends Roxana Schools, recently moved to the area with her family and may not have been familiar with her new route to school. There is no crosswalk where she tried stepped out into the street, but there are two school crossing zones about a block away in either direction.
The highway was closed while the victim was treated and the scene was investigated. The accident remains under investigation by Wood River Police.
Police are investigating and reviewing surveillance video from the bus to determine what went wrong.