Updated: survivors’ conditions.
LITCHFIELD, Ill. (KMOX) – We have an update on some passengers injured in Thursday’s Megabus crash on I-55 at Litchfield, Ill.
St. Louis Children’s Hospital says victims aged 7 and 11 both suffered broken bones and are listed in good condition.
Barnes-Jewish Hospital has one victim listed in serious condition and one in fair.
St. Louis University Hospital officials say a 24-year-old male victim underwent surgery for repair of broken bones. He’s in serious condition.
Springfield Memorial Hospital says 4 of the 7 victims treated there have since been released.
Student Killed Described as Extremely Bright
The 25 year-old India native that died in the Megabus accident that seriously injured 10 others is described as a stellar student. According to a university spokesman Aditi Avhad was a graduate student at the University of Missouri in Columbia where she was in the university’s dental program. She was on track to complete her master’s degree in 2013.
“Aditi Avhad was an extremely bright, energetic and beloved student in our health management program,” said Eduardo Simoes, Chair and Health Management and Informatics Alumni Distinguished Professor. “We are deeply saddened by this tragic event and send our sincerest condolences to her family.”
Capt. Scott Compton of the Illinois State Police said Avhad was sitting in the front, upper section of the bus when it careened off the highway and slammed into concrete pillars. Avhad’s parents were also on board the bus.
Avhad was involved with MU’s Cultural Association of India; members of this group are planning a memorial service for her at 7 p.m. tonight, at Memorial Union.
“We have lost a wonderful, dear friend,” said Nikhil Tindal, president of the Cultural Association of India. “Aditi was a girl who was always smiling and brought so much joy to us all.”
Megabus.com is working with law enforcement authorities to investigate the cause of the accident. The bus was en route from Chicago to St. Louis, Columbia, and Kansas City.
Megabus.com says the bus involved in the accident passed a full preventative maintenance check – including tires – within the past week. Maintenance checks are performed by megabus.com approximately every 10 days.
All megabus.com service has resumed to its scheduled time.
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One passenger, Zaq Hall, described the reactions inside.
“We were driving on the highway and I heard the front tire blow out,” Hall said. “We just went through a field and then it crashed really hard.”
“There was an older gentleman with his head stuck between two seats and I had to help him get his head out. There was another gentleman who, I don’t know, it looked like he couldn’t move anything, any of his appendages.”
Hospitals report treating upwards of 39 patients.
One was flown to Barnes Jewish Hospital in critical condition. Another is being transferred there by ambulance. St. Louis University Hospital is treating a 24-year-old man who suffered multiple fractures.
St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield says it received 22 patients. A spokeswoman tells us 18 were treated and released, one was admitted and three were transferred to Memorial Hospital in Springfield. Memorial, the closest level one trauma center to the scene, says it received six patients, four of whom were flown from the accident scene.
Carlinville Area Hospital reports receiving 8 patients. Community Memorial Hospital in Staunton treated up to four.
Amanda Byers, a spokesperson for Megabus, says the company is “working with operations and local law enforcement to gather details.”
“At this point I can confirm that it was the Chicago- St. Louis-Columbia-Kansas City route,” Byers said. “The bus was booked to have 81 passengers on board.”
Founded in 2006, Megabus is known for its low-cost, city-to-city travel.