Local

8 injured in Woodstock-area crash involving Pioneer Center bus, SUV

Almost a dozen fire districts responded to assist

Woodstock Fire Rescue District photo by Alex Vucha 
Paramedics check on bus passengers after an SUV collided with a small unmarked bus at the intersection of Franklinville Rd. and Perkins Rd. near Woodstock on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2017. Eight people were transported to the three Centegra hospitals with non-life threatening injuries, Woodstock Fire Capt. Scott Nieman said on the scene.
Woodstock Fire Rescue District photo by Alex Vucha Paramedics check on bus passengers after an SUV collided with a small unmarked bus at the intersection of Franklinville Rd. and Perkins Rd. near Woodstock on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2017. Eight people were transported to the three Centegra hospitals with non-life threatening injuries, Woodstock Fire Capt. Scott Nieman said on the scene.

WOODSTOCK – Eight people were hurt Thursday morning when an SUV collided with a minibus carrying clients of Pioneer Center for Human Services near Woodstock.

Woodstock firefighters responded about 8:15 a.m. Thursday to the intersection of Franklinville and Perkins roads in Seneca Township for the two-vehicle crash, Woodstock Fire Capt. Scott Nieman said.

Eight people from the Pioneer Center bus were taken to the three Centegra hospitals – in Woodstock, Huntley and McHenry – for treatment of minor injuries and precautionary measures, according to a news release from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office. The McHenry-based nonprofit serves thousands of individuals each year – including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the homeless, according to its website.

A white SUV could be seen with front-end damage, and a white, unmarked passenger van was in a ditch on the south side of Perkins Road after the crash.

Franklinville Road was shut down for at least an hour from Kunde Road to Perkins Road.

A preliminary investigation found that a 2016 Ford F-450 Bus, driven by Celetra Moses, 24, of Woodstock, was traveling east on Perkins Road and had stopped at the stop sign, police said. A 52-year-old Marengo woman was driving a 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe north on Franklinville Road and did not have a stop sign.

Moses failed to yield to the Hyundai and entered the intersection, where the two vehicles collided, police said. She was cited for failing to yield at an intersection.

Police do not suspect alcohol played a role in the crash.

The Pioneer Center confirmed the crash occurred in a statement on its website Thursday.

“Please note, a Pioneer Center bus, with people we serve on board, was involved in an accident this morning in Woodstock,” the statement said. “We thank you greatly for your kind thoughts and prayers.”

The nonprofit’s co-CEO, Sam Tenuto, said the bus was taking individuals with disabilities from one of the Pioneer Center’s group homes in Woodstock to day program services in McHenry.

“Our top priority is to make sure that all of our people that we serve are safe,” Tenuto said.

Tenuto said staff is required to go through an online defensive driving course and “hands-on behind-the-wheel” training.

“We have a very good driving history here at Pioneer,” Tenuto said. “Based on what we’ve seen so far, I don’t see a need to change anything.”

He said that he was working with authorities to understand what exactly happened.

McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandra Rogers said two other crashes with injuries were recorded at the same intersection in 2012 and 2014.

Rogers said she did not know any identifying information about the individuals on the bus.

Union, Wonder Lake, Huntley, Crystal Lake, Marengo, Harvard, Nunda Rural, McHenry Township, Spring Grove and Cary fire protection districts also responded to the crash.

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