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SUV Collides with School Bus

In the aftermath of a recent crash just south of Sullivan, IL, the Moultrie County coroner has identified both a woman and child that were pronounced dead at the scene. The traffic crash, which took place this past Friday, September 27th around 3:40 p.m., involved a school bus carrying 11 students and an SUV-sized vehicle driven by one woman. Coroner Lynn Reed identified the driver of the maroon Ford Escape as 56-year-old woman, Lori Samples, from Decatur, IL. The student traveling on the school bus was identified as Tyson Mendoza, a 5-year-old boy from Gays, IL.

The tragic collision occurred on Illinois 32 at Moultrie County Road 800 N, which is about four miles south of Sullivan. It has been confirmed that Mrs. Samples was heading east on County Road 800 N, in her Ford Escape, when she stopped at a stop sign at the intersection with Illinois 32, and then continued driving. The full-size school bus, heading southbound, did not have a stop sign at the intersection and collided with the driver’s side of the Ford Escape.

Reed confirmed that an autopsy was performed on Mrs. Samples, but that no autopsy was carried out the young boy, Tyson. However, Reed informed authorities that Tyson died from massive blunt force trauma, and since the collision is undergoing investigation by the Illinois State Police, Reed was unable to say where Tyson would have been seated on the school bus. Following the traffic crash, the school district was immediately notified and an administrative team, along with a school social worker, went to the scene. From there, they provided support, sent out notifications to families, and assisted with reuniting families and children.

Ted Walk, the Sullivan School Superintendent, informed parents via Facebook post on Saturday, September 29th that the district would be hosting an informal meeting for parents the following afternoon in the Sullivan Elementary School Gym. The meeting took place to share advice for parents on how to discuss the unfortunate tragedy with their children. Additionally, a crisis team of school psychologists, social workers, and counselors are set to be in the school district on Monday to provide support to any students or staff members.

Even when exercising caution, traffic crashes still occur and often cause much tragedy to those involved, such as the recent one in Moultrie County. If you or a loved one have suffered injury or harm due to a car crash, you may be entitled to compensation. Our attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. are experienced in dealing with traffic injury cases and handle each case with the compassion it deserves. Contact one of our attorneys today at (217) 328-2828 to receive a free consultation.