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home : news : local   May 3, 2016

3/1/2013 2:23:00 PM
Ottawa High students in bus crash all OK

Tom Collins
NewsTribune Senior Reporter

GRAND RIDGE — Ottawa Township High School officials said the eight students in Thursday’s bus crash are doing well, but also expressed their sympathies to the family of the Streator motorist killed.

Ottawa High principal Mike Cushing said this morning he wasn’t sure if the eight students taken to Ottawa and Streator hospitals for minor injuries would all report for school today and credited the “professional” conduct of the bus driver who assisted the students at the scene.

“They were all fine,” Cushing said. “We were in contact with all the parents and they all assured us they are doing fine.

“And, certainly, our condolences go out to the family of the man who was killed in the accident.”

The driver in question was identified Thursday afternoon as 46-year-old Brian P. Dodge of Streator.

Dodge was killed when the pickup he was driving fishtailed on a slick portion of North 21st Road (the Grand Ridge-Mazon Blacktop) east of Grand Ridge and slid into a school bus. The bus driver and eight Ottawa students aboard were treated or checked for minor injuries at OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa and St. Mary’s Hospital in Streator and then released.

Dodge was pronounced dead at the scene on North 21st Road, a quarter mile east of East 22nd Road near St. Mary’s of the Fields Catholic Church. Dodge’s red pickup truck and the bus (marked as an Ottawa Elementary bus) both sustained extensive damage.
La Salle sheriff’s deputies, including an accident reconstructionist, were on scene and an complete accident report was pending.

“We would like to thank all of the first responders for their immediate action and assistance (Thursday) morning,” Ottawa school officials said in a statement. “We also would like to thank the staff and administration at OSF St. Elizabeth and St. Mary’s Hospitals for their assistance in treating the students and bus driver. Counseling will be made available to students at Ottawa High School.”

Related Stories:
• Streator man dies as truck collides with school bus

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