Bus crash on city’s South Side

In a crash involving a CTA bus, eight people were injured at 8:45 a.m. in Chicago’s South Side, reported the Chicago Tribune. The bus crash on the city’s South Side occurred close by 82nd St. and Cottage Grove Ave. when the bus was driving south at 81st and Cottage. The bus was hit by a car going north that passed into its route.

Traumatic brain injury occurs in an automobile crash when the head hits something such as the steering wheel or the windshield. The skull does not necessarily have to have been penetrated or fractured for TBI to happen. The force of a crash can cause the brain to collide with the skull. The brain is a soft consistency, while the skull is very hard. The collision can cause a contusion (bruising of the brain) and brain hemorrhage (bleeding). It may not be apparent at first that such an injury had been sustained because it is internal damage.

When blood builds up in the brain, it is called hematoma. Edema occurs when there is swelling in the brain causing an increase in intracranial pressure. Medication can sometimes relieve the pressure, but sometimes doctors may drill a hole in the skull.

Another type of injury that one may sustain is blunt trauma when the head hits the windshield in an automobile collision. The head sustains an open wound, where the brain pulls away from the skull and injures the brain. This kind of injury can be sustained in a roof crush, which does not seem to be present here, or during occupant ejection.

Whiplash can be very bad for the brain as well. The body is flung and the brain moves around against the hard skull, causing brain damage. Severe whiplash can cause Diffuse Axonal Injury, or extensive lesions in white matter over a large area. This can also cause the person to be comatose. It also may cause cells to die and brain swelling. This results in decreased blood flow to the brain. Normally the areas of the brain that are injured are the frontal lobe and temporal lobe. Sometimes the brain will bounce back and damage the back brain where the occipital lobe is, in charge of visual processing.

The people involved had mostly mild-to-serious injuries, but one person was taken to the hospital in serious-to-critical condition. When the brain injury is serious, it is likely the outcome will affect their daily living for the days, weeks, and months following the crash.

Mild brain injury involves brief loss of consciousness, while severe brain injury will often involve memory loss and prolonged periods of unconsciousness.

In a 2006 study by the Atlanta Nation Center for Injury Prevention and Control, it was stated that 1.7 million people sustain a TBI annually. One of the most common ways to sustain a traumatic brain injury is automobile crash, with 292,202 incidents reported from 2002 to 2006. Falls were the most common way to sustain brain damage, according to the report.

Although the nature of these people’s injuries is unknown, we are hoping for the best for those involved in this bus crash on the city’s South Side.


Gordon Johnson

Attorney Gordon Johnson is one of the nations leading brain injury advocates. He is Past-Chair of the TBILG, a national group of more than 150 brain injury advocates. He has spoken at numerous brain injury seminars and is the author of some of the most read brain injury web pages on the internet.

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