A 21-year-old woman was killed and five additional passengers were injured in a charter bus crash Monday morning on the Stevenson Expressway.
The Burlington Trailways bus crashed into a sign shortly before 7 a.m. while traveling in the inbound lanes of I-55 near Damen Avenue, according to Illinois State Police.
One passenger, Nicole Underwood of Des Moines, Iowa, was taken in critical condition to Mount Sinai Hospital, Chicago Fire Department Chief Juan Hernandez said, where she died of her injuries.
Three people were to Saint Anthony Hospital, while another two people were taken to Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, Hernandez said. They were all listed in good condition. Another 28 people refused medical attention, Hernandez said.
The bus was traveling from Omaha, Nebraska to downtown Chicago when the accident took place, according to the bus company.
"Burlington Trailways is deeply saddened to learn a short time ago of the death of one of passengers, a 21 year old woman from Des Moines, Iowa," the company said in a statement. "We offer our condolences to her family and friends during these difficult times. Burlington Trailways is also making sure the passengers who were injured receive prompt medical care. The safety of our passengers and employees is our highest priority."
According to the statement, the GPS system on the bus indicated the vehicle was traveling at 49 miles per hour when the accident took place.
"The bus driver told Chicago Police he took evasive action to avoid a pick-up truck that encroached into his lane," the company said. "The bus was in the far right lane, getting ready to exit and the bus driver says the pick-up, in the center lane, veered into the right lane."
State police did not immediately confirm that information, but said a preliminary investigation indicated the bus lost control for unknown reasons and struck a construction arrow board sign.
Additional details were not immediately available, but an investigation into the crash was ongoing.