Law and Order, Local Police Reports, Park Forest

No Moving Violations Charges for School Bus Driver in Death of Child

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The driver of a school bus that struck and killed a child on January 20 will receive no charges regarding the child’s death, police announced Sunday. While the driver did not possess a valid Commercial Driver’s License at the time of the accident, the driver will “receive no citations relating to moving violations,” police announced Sunday.

Police have not revealed any information on the identity of the driver. Given the decision of police, we will not seek that information.

“After the completion of a thorough and exhaustive investigation into this tragic accident, no citations related to moving violations have been filed against the driver of the school bus,” the statement police issued Sunday said. Police cited a number of factors that led to their decision to pursue no charges:

  • This investigation included reviewing and analyzing video from the school bus,
  • video from personally owned surveillance cameras in the area of the accident,
  • toxicology results obtained after required testing pursuant to Illinois law,
  • review of electronic data to ensure that the driver had not been distracted by electronic communication devices,
  • interviews with multiple witnesses and the driver,
  • and a full review of all other available evidence.

According to police, the investigation revealed that, at the time of the accident, the driver of the school bus was not in the process of releasing passengers and had turned the corner from the last bus stop. The child was running alongside the passenger side of the bus and moved into the street directly in front of the vehicle when he was struck.

“There is no indication that the driver was aware that the bus had been involved in a crash or had struck the child,” police said in the statement.

A review of Illinois Secretary records found that the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and associated school bus driver endorsement that had been issued to the bus driver had been cancelled on January 8, 2023, pursuant to Illinois Vehicle Code 625 ILCS 5/6-201 (A)(12), which involves a failure to provide medical examination documentation to the Secretary of State’s Office, police said in the statement.

“As a result, the bus driver did not possess a valid Illinois Commercial Driver’s License or School Bus endorsement at the time of the accident,” police said.

The driver was charged with operating a commercial vehicle with a cancelled commercial driver’s license pursuant to (625 ILCS 5/6-507 (B-1)). This offense is a Class A Misdemeanor and requires a court appearance on March 31, 2023 at the 6th District Cook County Courthouse in Markham, IL, police said.

“Once again, the Women and Men of the Park Forest Police Department and the entire Village of Park Forest wish to express their sympathy to this child’s family and friends,” police said. “Anyone experiencing adverse effects to this traumatic event is urged to call the Police Department’s Community Engagement Coordinator at (708) 748-4701 for a referral for counseling services or other assistance.”


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