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Car accidents come in all shapes and sizes, and those involving a school bus are particularly frightening. One such collision occurred in St. Clair County on the afternoon of Dec.15 on Highway 161 between North County Road and Silver Creek Bridge, sending one of the drivers to a Belleville hospital.

A 19-year-old boy driving a 1995 Honda Prelude lost control of his vehicle and struck a school bus coming in the opposite direction. The car accident happened about 4 p.m., and fortunately there were no students on the school bus. While the 51-year-old bus driver emerged from the crash uninjured, the young driver of the Prelude was banged up and taken to a Belleville hospital for treatment. After an investigation, the cause of the accident was initially said to be attributed to a mechanical error in the Honda, and police did not issue any traffic citations at the scene. Both the school bus, which ended up in a ditch, and the Honda Prelude were totaled.

It appears that property damage will be the only possible claim between the parties, and the Mascoutah School District will likely seek compensation to replace the vehicle. Had students been present on the bus at the time of the head-on collision, there undoubtedly would have been personal injury claims against one if not both drivers. Anyone injured in a motor vehicle accident in St. Clair County would benefit from gathering all of the relevant information and seeking advice to assess liability and pursue rightful claims.

Source: Belleville News-Democrat, "Car strikes Mascoutah school bus head-on," Dec. 15, 2011

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