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Elgin man charged, bus driver released from hospital after U46 school bus crash

A school district U46 bus rolled over an accident Route 20 near Oak Avenue Bartlett August 30 2012. | Katherine

A school district U46 bus rolled over in an accident on Route 20 near Oak Avenue in Bartlett on August 30, 2012. | Katherine Peters~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: October 3, 2012 6:16AM

BARTLETT — The school bus driver just had finished her run Thursday at Tefft Middle School in Streamwood and was driving west on Route 20, back to her base, when it happened, according to Elgin School District U46.

A gray 2008 Honda Accord headed in the opposite direction reportedly swerved into her lane just before 9 a.m., according to Bartlett police. The car sideswiped the school bus near Oak Avenue and Roma Jean Parkway, and the bus flipped onto its side, crashing into a fence between Route 20 and The Oaks community, police said.

Because it was the end of the run, no students were on the bus, the district said, but the 44-year-old woman driving it was taken to St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates with a head injury.

“Luckily, the buses are big. It could have been much worse in a head-on collision,” said John Heiderscheidt, U46 safety coordinator.

Meantime, the driver of the second vehicle took off south on foot, according to police.

Several nearby schools took “secure building” action for several hours, limiting movement in and out of school buildings while police searched for the man Thursday morning, U46 said. Those schools included Independence Center for Early Learning, Bartlett Elementary School and Eastview Middle School.

Bartlett police said they also issued a CodeRED emergency notification to several residents in the area.

Police eventually arrested Michael J. Campbell, 26, of the 700 block of Spyglass Hill Court in Elgin, at about 12:15 p.m. Thursday after an “extensive” police search, department officials said Friday evening. That search involved the department’s canine unit and air support from the Illinois State Police.

And it ended on the 200 block of North Hale Avenue, according to police.

Bartlett police and Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office charged Campbell him with a Class 2 felony count of leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury or death. He also was charged with two Class A misdemeanors of driving while his license is suspended and failing to give aid or information following an accident involving personal injury; and he was cited with improper lane usage and no valid proof of insurance, according to police.

In addition, he was arrested on a $20,000 failure-to-appear warrant out of Hoffman Estates for previous criminal offenses of driving while his license was suspended and resisting/obstructing a peace officer, police said.

Campbell was be transported to a Cook County court facility to await his bail bond hearing Saturday, according to Bartlett police.

Neither the school district nor police have identified the bus driver, but Heiderscheidt said the woman was released from the hospital later in the day Thursday and “is starting the healing process.”

“We’re doing everything we can to help our driver get back to school as soon as possible.”

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