Police say a school bus driver, who was driving drunk, caused a crash in Deer Park while Barrington District 220 students were on board the bus.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded around 4:20 p.m. Thursday to Cuba Road and Ela Road in Deer Park for a report of a vehicle crash involving a school bus.
The school bus was transporting students home from Barrington School District 220’s Prairie Middle School, according to Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli.
Sheriff’s deputies arrived and verified none of the students on board the bus were injured. The driver of the other vehicle was also uninjured.
Sheriff’s deputies determined the school bus driver, James Dolan, 61, of the 4000 block of Victoria Drive in Hoffman Estates, was traveling northbound on Ela Road and made a left turn onto westbound Cuba Road.
Dolan failed to yield to oncoming traffic and made the turn in front of a southbound 2015 Chevrolet Traverse, driven by a 58-year-old Carpentersville man.
The driver of the Traverse was unable to stop on the snow-covered road and struck the school bus, Covelli said.
Sheriff’s deputies at the scene detected signs that Dolan was impaired by alcohol.
A further investigation revealed Dolan was confirmed to be driving under the influence of alcohol and had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system, Covelli said.
Dolan requested to go to the hospital due to a medical issue and was transported to an area hospital by ambulance. He was admitted to the hospital.
Sheriff’s deputies obtained an arrest warrant for Dolan for aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, a Class 4 felony. A Lake County judge set the bond on the warrant at $100,000.
Dolan was discharged from the hospital on Sunday and taken into custody. He was transported to the Lake County Jail pending an initial court hearing on Tuesday.
Barrington School District 220 administration has been cooperative with the sheriff’s office throughout the investigation, Covelli said.
“It is absolutely shameful that a professional school bus driver would put all of those children in his care at significant risk by driving drunk. We are grateful none of the students, and nobody else was injured, as the driver’s horrifically poor judgement could have resulted in a tragic outcome,” Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg said.