19 Injured When SUV Hits Party Bus On Eisenhower
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UPDATED 06/19/12 – 5:09 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Nineteen people were injured early Tuesday when a sport-utility vehicle crashed into a party bus on the Eisenhower Expressway, near the Illinois Medical District.
Both drivers are now in trouble.
The crash happened at 2:38 a.m. on the inbound Eisenhower (I-290), near Ashland Avenue. The party bus was carrying people from area bars when it was hit by the SUV, Illinois State Police said.
Inbound lanes were closed until about 3:45 a.m. as crews cleared the scene, state police said.
The SUV, a Ford Expedition, hit the left side of the bus, police said.
Nineteen people were taken to area hospitals, according to Fire Media Affairs — two in serious-to-critical condition, 11 in fair-to-serious condition and six in good condition.
None of them appeared to have life-threatening injuries, State Police District Chicago Trooper Ivan Bukaczyk said. He said two people went to Stroger Hospital of Cook County, while the others went to other hospitals.
Thirty-five people were on the white, unmarked bus, but police said the maximum capacity was 27.
One of the riders, 24-year-old Kyesha Shaw, said people on the bus were standing, drinking and dancing when the SUV struck it, adding that glass beer and liquor bottles went flying after the impact.
“It was just a big boom,” she said.
The Expedition suffered major front-end damage. Four people were riding in the vehicle.
Following the crash, the driver of the SUV, Andy Darrell Taylor, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. He also received tickets for failure to reduce speed, no valid insurance, failure to signal and improper lane usage.
The driver of the bus, Ammar Wachaa, was ticketed for not having valid insurance, suspended vehicle registration and driving an overloaded bus.
Wachaa, 40, has received four traffic tickets since 2009 while driving vehicles with livery plates. He was $155 in 2009 for driving with an expired registration and no insurance.
Officials at the bus company, Party Bus Chicago, declined to comment on the crash.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.