Update: The victims have been identified as Dal Mager, 45 and Junu Rai, 36. Both Mager and Rai were transported to SLU Hospital where Rai later died. Mager remains hospitalized.
O’FALLON, IL (KTVI) – While investigators in O’Fallon, IL tried to piece together a deadly accident involving a school bus, police say a suspected drunk driver crashed into a police cruiser protecting the scene. Police say the cruiser was not occupied, and no investigators were injured. The suspected drunk driver was taken into custody Tuesday night.
Tuesday, a school bus carrying elementary aged children, struck two pedestrians walking westbound along highway 50. The bus was also traveling westbound. One of the pedestrians, a 36-year-old female died. A 45-year-old male was in critical conditions. People familiar with the area say there are virtually no shoulders along the westbound side of the highway.
Police said it was too soon to determine what happened. Lt. Rob Schmidtke said an accident reconstruction crew from the Illinois State Police was assisting. He said investigators were checking to see if the bus contained any video.
The school superintendent says counselors were made available Wednesday at Moye elementary. A few kids who were on the bus are struggling with it a bit. The district let all the teachers know which kids were on the bus so they could keep an eye on them. One child on the bus had a bump on the head but is fine.
The head of risk management at the Illinois Central Bus Company says the driver is a woman in her mid 30’s who started driving for them in February. He did not comment on the circumstances, which are still under investigation. He said the driver is cooperating with police. He says the accident was “very regretful” and that their “hearts go out to everyone involved.”
Saint Louis University Hospital says the surviving male pedestrian, Dal Mager, 45 is in serious condition.