One woman was killed and eight others injured when a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus suddenly struck several vehicles on a busy downtown Chicago street, jumped a curb, and crashed into a concrete wall during Tuesday evening rush hour.
Authorities identified the fatality as Aimee Coath, 51, of Flossmoor, Ill., a suburban enclave south of Chicago. Ms. Coath was taken from the scene to Northwetern Memorial Hospital where she later died of her crash injuries, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office reported.
Ms. Coath had been in the city to plan a wedding for her daughter and was on her way to meet her adult son and ex-husband for dinner. Her family became concerned when she failed to show up for dinner and return their calls.
Seven others and the bus driver were all hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. The Chicago Sun Times reported that the accordion-style CTA bus, empty except for the driver, had stopped at a red light, but then proceeded through the red light, striking two pedestrians and several other vehicles.
Chicago police authorities and various media reports say the CTA bus was traveling eastbound on Lake Street just before 6 p.m. when it went out of control.
A woman who was in a CVS store near the crash told NBC Chicago that she heard a scream followed by what she called a “horrible thuddy crash.” She ran outside and saw the bus driver in his seat with his eyes closed, apparently unconscious.
However, the Chicago Sun Times reported that authorities issued citations to the 48-year-old driver for his failure to stop at a red light and failure to exercise due care. It is not clear if the driver will face additional charges. It was not immediately clear how long he had been driving his usual route, if he had fallen asleep, or suffered from a medical condition. The crash remains under investigation.