An alleged drugged driver using his cell phone was seriously injured after he crashed head-on into a school bus near Crystal Lake Wednesday morning, police said.
The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office and Cary Fire Protection District responded around 8:15 a.m. Wednesday to Crystal Lake Avenue and Hamilton Drive in unincorporated Crystal Lake for a two-vehicle crash with injuries.
The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office said deputies arrived and found a silver 2001 Mazda Tribute had struck a Prairie Grove School District 46 school bus.
A preliminary investigation shows the driver of the Mazda, James T. Owens, 21, of Cary, was driving eastbound on Crystal Lake Avenue when he crossed over the centerline.
The Mazda collided with the school bus head-on, which was traveling westbound on Crystal Lake Avenue, the sheriff’s office said.
The students were safely evacuated from the bus. One child on the bus suffered minor injuries.
The injured child was evaluated by the Cary Fire Protection District and later released to a parent.
Owens was transported by ambulance to Northwestern Medicine Hospital in McHenry where he was airlifted to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.
Ownes suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries. A second school bus was sent to the scene to transport the children to school.
The sheriff’s office said Owens was charged with driving under the influence of drugs, operating a motor vehicle while using an electronic communication device, possession of cannabis by a driver, improper lane usage, failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.
The crash investigation is ongoing by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office.