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One Hurt in School Bus Accident in Summerville

Michael Agruss

Written and Reviewed by Michael Agruss

  • Managing Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer at Mike Agruss Law.
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One student received minor injuries when a Southwestern School District bus was rear-ended by a car on Illinois Route 111. The accident occurred at 3:28 pm just south of Tremont Lane, near Summerville, according to police.

Officials from Illinois State Police District 18 in Litchfield said that a 2008 Freightliner school bus driven by Janelle Lehr, 55, was driving north on Route 111 with its yellow warning lights on ready to make a stop. A 1994 Infiniti driven by Austin Blake Godfrey, 23, or Carlinville, was also heading north and approach the bus from behind. The bus driver activated the stop sign, arm and red stop lights.

Godfrey reportedly told a state trooper he believed the bus was finishing its stop, and he looked down to grab something in his car. He started to accelerate and looked up to see the bus was stopped. He rear-ended the bus. His car went up a driveway, hit a tree, spun around and stopped on a tractor tire 60 yards from the road.

Godfrey refused medical treatment. The school bus had 16 students aboard, and one complained of minor injuries. This student was transported to Carlinville Hospital in an ambulance. Godfrey was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

According to Southwestern Superintendent Paul Skertich, all of the students were checked at the scene by EMTs and released to their parents. Only one student was taken to the hospital, and injuries were minor. “The worst thing we have to do is repair the bus, and that’s the best kind of accident to have,” he added.

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