Updated 08/29/14 – 11:47 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Officials have reopened all lanes of the Interstate 190 entrance to O’Hare International Airport, after it was closed when a privately owned shuttle bus crashed into a concrete median. Fourteen people were taken to hospitals.
Fire Department District Chief Tim Sampey said the crash happened just before 6:30 a.m. at I-190 and Bessie Coleman Drive.
“The bus appeared to just come to a sudden stop; unknown as to why. That’s under investigation,” Sampey said.
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports all but one lane of the I-190 entrance to O’Hare reopened by about 8 a.m. The lanes were briefly closed again around 8:45 a.m. while the damaged bus was towed away, but all lanes reopened within a couple minutes.
The front of the bus was severely damaged in the crash, leaving the driver pinned inside. Sampey said it was unclear how fast the bus was going at the time.
Two firefighters happened to be behind the bus in separate vehicles, and witnessed the crash. One of the firefighters grabbed a hammer from his car and broke a window on the bus to get to the driver. The firefighter and an airport employee who arrived at the scene helped get the driver out of the bus while the other firefighter boarded the bus and began triage on the injured passengers.
The firefighters called for 10 to 12 ambulances and other fire equipment. After conducting triage, 14 people were taken to hospitals, and two others refused further treatment at the scene.
Four of the victims were triaged as “red” – meaning serious to critical condition – for precautionary reasons, but Sampey said all of the injured victims were “stable.”
“We’re not taking any chances. They had a severe crash; severe impact on the median and guardrails,” he said.