Police: Argument on school bus led to crash in Metro East - KMOV.com

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Police: Argument on school bus led to crash in Metro East

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ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ill. (KMOV.com) -

An argument between two students on a school bus led to a crash in St. Clair County Tuesday morning, according to Illinois State Police Department officials.

The bus was carrying 23 children when the crash occurred on Route 161 near Mascoutah around 9 a.m.

"You are trying to ride a classroom in your rear view mirror, he looks up to check on them make sure everyone is seated and make sure everything is going ok and just got distracted for just a second. That is all it takes," says Mascoutah Superintendent Dr. Craig Fiegel. 

Fiegel says the bus driver noticed that some students were arguing over a cell phone. 

"When they got on the bus told them separate and sit down, let's go to school and then somewhere along the way they got to arguing again and so he was trying to see exactly what was going on," he says. 

That is when the bus crashed into a delivery truck. All students on board were evaluated by medics at the scene. Police said 10 students were transported to the hospital following the crash, but they had no visible injuries and were transported as a precaution.

Superintendent Dr. Craig Fiegel said he would not consider what occurred on the bus a fight. He said the crash occurred when the bus driver told a student to sit down, causing him to take his eyes off the road and crash into a box truck.

The children were on their way to school in the Mascoutah School District and were escorted to their classes by another bus.

The driver of the box truck, 47, had to be extracted from the vehicle and was airlifted to a hospital for treatment. 

The bus driver is 74-years-old and according to Fiegel, has had no past incidents. It is unclear if the driver will be facing disciplinary action. 

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