GRANITE CITY, Ill. – A Granite City Community Unit School District #9 bus crashed Monday morning with kids on board into several parked cars, leaving a wake of damage.
The bus was picking up students for class when, all of a sudden, it crashed directly into four cars.
“There were car parts everywhere, glass everywhere, it was just a nightmare,” said Alyssa Wells, the car owner.
Wells said her boyfriend’s truck was hit head-on and sent flying over her Mustang onto the sidewalk.
The bus only stops after hitting her second car.
“Walking out to kids screaming was devastating and very scary,” Wells said.
The entire front hood of the Mustang is hanging by a thread. The truck had most of the driver’s side ripped off, and her second car was damaged as well.
“We actually are expecting our first child as well, so on top of medical expenses, there’s just a lot going on,” Wells said. “It’s stressful.”
Her next-door neighbor, Nick Warden, also has a child on the way. His car was the first one to be struck and was heavily damaged.
“I was finding pieces of my car all the way down the block,” Warden said.
The Granite City School District cannot comment on the health of the students on board but said in a statement:
First Student, our contracted transportation provider, had a bus accident while transporting Granite City Community Unit School District #9 students on Monday, March 20 during the AM routes. First Student is currently investigating the accident. The safety of our students remains our number one priority.
“It is scary because that’s a lot of money sitting in front of my house that I can’t drive to work,” Warden said. “I can’t get my kids to the doctors.”
In the police report filed, the cause of the crash was listed as a student distracting the driver.
A spokesperson from the bus company, First Student, responded with a statement:
At First Student, there is nothing more important than the safety of the students we transport. We, too, are disturbed by the performance captured in this video, as it does not reflect our dedication to safety or the rigorous training our drivers undergo. We have initiated our protocol to terminate the driver involved in this incident.
“Hopefully, they’re a little wearier of who they’re putting behind the wheel and who’s essentially putting these kids’ lives in their hands,” Wells said.
Both car owners said the insurance companies have not reached out to them so far and are currently paying out of pocket for the damages.