The victim of a bus accident that took place on Interstate 55 in Chicago on Monday, December 28, 2015 has been identified as University of Iowa student Nicole Underwood. She was 22 years of age at the time of death. The accident happened near Damen Avenue. The charter bus was owned and operated by Burlington Trailways, and was carrying more than 30 passengers from Omaha, Nebraska to Chicago at the time the accident took place.
An on-board GPS device installed on the bus showed that the vehicle was traveling under the posted 55 mph speed limit at the time of the crash. According to officials from Burlington Trailways, the bus driver attempted to evade a pickup truck that had swerved into his lane of traffic at the last moment, causing the bus to collide with a lighted construction sign. The bus driver stated that he was driving in the right lane and preparing to exit the highway when the truck darted from the middle lane to the right lane, directly in front of him. The incident resulted in severe injury to Ms. Underwood, who was rushed to Mount Sinai hospital and later pronounced dead. Several other people were also injured in the crash and taken to Mercy Hospital and Saint Anthony’s Hospital. No word has been released on their current condition or identities.
The roadways were wet in Chicago that day, but it is not known whether the road conditions or vehicle’s condition may have played a contributing role in the crash. The bus driver is being tested for intoxicants per Burlington Trailways policy following an accident, and authorities are investigating the circumstances leading up to the incident.
Ms. Underwood was reportedly traveling from her home in Iowa to Chicago to spend time with her boyfriend on New Year’s Eve. Burlington Trailways released a statement expressing condolences to her family in wake of the accident.