ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – At least 40 people were hospitalized at six area hospitals after a double-decker Megabus carrying about 64 passengers slammed head-on into a concrete bridge support pillar in Montgomery County, Illinois on Thursday.
Authorities confirmed one person, identified as 25-year-old Aditi Avhad, died in the wreck. Police said she was a student at the University of Missouri in Columbia.
Illinois State Police Trooper Doug Francis said 30 ambulances and five medical helicopters were sent to the scene.
Only 10 of the 40 victims remained hospitalized Friday morning.
Officials said 22 patients were taken to St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield. As of early Friday afternoon, only two of them were still hospitalized. Both were in good condition.
Authorities said two additional victims - an 11-year-old and 7-year-old - remained at Children’s Hospital Friday after suffering multiple fractures.
Seven victims were taken to Memorial Hospital in Springfield and three remained their Friday.
Officials said Staunton Community Hospital received six victims, all of which have been released.
Eight patients were transported to Hillsboro Area Hospital. None of those patients were in critical condition, officials said.
Authorities said one person was taken by air to Barnes-Jewish hospital in critical condition, which was downgraded to serious condition late Thursday night.
A 24-year-old man was airlifted to St. Louis University Hospital, where he remains in serious condition with multiple fractures.
SkyZoom 4 cameras on Thursday showed numerous emergency vehicles surrounding the bus and rescue crews climbing ladders to reach inside its crumpled front end.
Some passengers could be seen being tended to along the side of Interstate 55, which was shut down in both directions for a majority of the day. Both lanes were back open by about 5:30 p.m.
Other emergency crews set up a triage in the median of the highway to treat injured passengers.
Most of the victims’ conditions were not immediately clear.
Megabus spokeswoman Amanda Byers said 81 passengers were booked to ride the discount charter bus, which was on its way to St. Louis from Chicago. It was scheduled to then go to Kansas City.
About 36 passengers from the bus were taken on two school buses from the crash site to the community center in Litchfield, said Janis Johns, transportation director of Litchfield Community Unit School District 12. The school district sent a third school bus to the crash site, but it wasn’t needed, Johns said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.