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Drivers reminded to slow down

HENRY — Snow-covered roads caused at least one accident on Saturday morning, sending a school bus into the ditch in Putnam County.

The school bus from Rich Township High School District 227 was transporting students to a competition when it slid off the road about 10 a.m. Saturday in Wolf Hollow on Illinois Route 18, about two miles east of Henry. The bus was driven by the Illinois School Bus Company. Rich Township High School is located about 30 miles south of Chicago.

The Putnam County Emergency Medical Services (PCEMS) was in charge of the scene. PCEMS Director Andy Jackson said there were 18 students and teachers aboard the bus. Nine were transported by area ambulances to St. Margaret’s Hospital in Spring Valley, with the remaining nine people transported by bus to the hospital as well.

“The bus was headed west down the hill, returning from an outing. The bus started to slide and went into the ditch. There were several injuries but none of them serious,” Jackson said.

St. Margaret Hospital nursing supervisor Anne Swank confirmed there were nine people seen through the emergency room, with those nine treated and released.

Area ambulance and emergency service units assisting at the site were Tiskilwa, Wyanet, Princeton, Mendota, Utica, Tonica, Peru, Oglesby, LaSalle, Lostant, Varna and Wenona. Also responding were Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, Magnolia Fire Department and a Marshall County Sheriff’s deputy.

On Monday morning, Bureau County Sheriff John Thompson said there were no weather-related crashes during the weekend in Bureau County, but there had been five weather-related crashes from last week’s snowfall.

However, there appeared to be a snow-related crash Monday morning on Interstate 80 near mile marker 68, which was being handled by the Illinois State Police, Thompson said. Two ambulances were also on the scene. As he was coming upon the crash scene, he had slowed down and he had people trying to pass him, which was not the wise thing to do, the sheriff said.

“You have to drive conservatively,” Thompson said. “ The biggest thing is to slow down, take your mind off everything else but driving, and enjoy a safe holiday.”

On Monday morning, ISP Trooper Craig Graham said District 17 troopers were also on the scene to an accident in LaSalle County involving a jackknifed truck tractor/semi trailer on Interstate 80 westbound at mile post 81. The left lane of I-80 westbound in the area of the Utica exit was closed until the unit could be removed, Graham said.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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