21-year-old Iowa woman dies after bus crash on Stevenson

CHICAGO (STMW) - A 21-year-old Iowa woman died after a charter bus crash Monday morning on the Stevenson Expressway on the South Side.

A Burlington Trailways bus carrying 33 passengers crashed into a construction arrow board sign shortly before 7 a.m. in the inbound lanes of I-55 near Damen Avenue, according to Illinois State Police.

A 21-year-old woman, identified as Nicole M. Underwood of Des Moines, was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where she was pronounced dead, according to state police and the Chicago Fire Department.

Four other passengers were taken with non-life-threatening injuries to Saint Anthony Hospital, and Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, according to state police.

The far two right lanes of I-55 remain closed as of 10:45 a.m., but traffic is getting by in the far left lane and shoulder, according to state police.

The bus was on a scheduled run from Omaha, Neb., to Chicago. It was operated by Burlington (Ia.) Trailways, one of many Trailways franchisees across the country.

Burlington Trailways issued a statement after the crash: “The onboard GPS system which is monitored by company officials in West Burlington, Iowa showed the bus was traveling at 49 miles per hour, in a posted 55 miles per hour zone.

“The bus driver told Chicago Police he took evasive action to avoid a pickup truck that encroached into his lane. The bus was in the far right lane, getting ready to exit, and the bus driver says the pickup, in the center lane, veered into the right lane,” the statement said.

“Because of the damage to the bus, it will be towed to a secure facility where investigators will inspect the vehicle, and company officials will secure and inventory the personal property of the passengers.

“Burlington Trailways is working with those passengers who were unhurt, and did not require medical attention to return their luggage and other items to them as soon as possible. The company will also be in contact with the people who were injured to let them know how their property will be returned to them.”

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