Photo by RR Best
Scary Bus Ride
Thirty-five passengers on a Teutopolis school bus took an unexpected detour on the way to a ball game Friday. At 3:19 p.m. the bus was struck on the driver’s side by a van driven by Scarlett McKenzie, 36, of Mattoon and turned over on its passenger side blocking Route 32 at the Bruce-Findlay road intersection. Moultrie County Sheriff Chris Sims reported the bus contained the Teutopolis basketball team, cheerleaders and coaches. Five students were taken to Sarah Bush Lincoln Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. McKenzie was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur and kept for observation. She was ticketed by MCSD for driving under the influence of alcohol and failure to yield. After her hospital release on Monday she was transported to Moultrie County Jail pending further charges from the states attorney. Robert Bothwell of Teutopolis was the driver of the bus. In addition to MCSD, Sullivan police and fire departments, Illinois State Police, plus ambulances from Sullivan, Lovington, Mattoon, Bethany, Windsor, Findlay and Arthur responded to the scene. Walker Wrecker Service uprighted the bus and towed it away. Traffic was detoured through Sullivan 66, Inc. (Howy’s) parking lot. Students were treated by area EMTs west of the parking lot. Sullivan school district dispatched a bus to transport the Teutopolis students. Surrounding school district administrators were on hand to offer assistance as well.