After School Bus Crash at Cuba Rd and Ela Rd in Deer Park, School Bus Driver Charged with Felony DUI

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James Dolan, suspected DUI  in Deer Park (SOURCE: Lake County Sheriff's Office)
James Dolan, suspected DUI in Deer Park (SOURCE: Lake County Sheriff’s Office).

Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies responded about 4:20 p.m. Thursday, February 17, 2022 to a report of a traffic crash involving a school bus at Cuba Road and Ela Road in Deer Park. The school bus was transporting students home from Barrington School District 220’s Prairie Middle School when the crash occurred.

Lake County Sheriff’s deputies arrived and verified none of the students onboard the bus were injured, nor was the driver of the other vehicle.

Sheriff’s deputies determined the school bus driver, James Dolan, 61, of the 4000 block of Victoria Drive, Hoffman Estates, was traveling northbound on Ela Road and made a left turn onto westbound Cuba Road. Dolan failed to yield to oncoming traffic and made the turn in front of a southbound 2015 Chevrolet Traverse, driven by a 58-year-old man of Carpentersville. The driver of the Traverse was unable to stop on the snow-covered road and struck the school bus.

Sheriff’s deputies at the scene detected signs that Dolan was impaired by alcohol. Further investigation revealed Dolan was indeed driving under the influence of alcohol, and had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system. Dolan requested to go to the hospital due to a medical issue and was subsequently transported to an area hospital via ambulance. He was admitted to the hospital.

On Friday, February 18, 2022, sheriff’s deputies obtained an arrest warrant for Dolan for aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol (class 4 felony). A Lake County Judge set the bond on the warrant at $100,000.00.

Dolan was discharged from the hospital on February 20, 2022, and was taken into custody. He was transported to the Lake County Jail pending an initial court hearing on February 22, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. in courtroom T020.

Barrington School District 220 officials have been cooperative with the sheriff’s office throughout this investigation.

Sheriff John D. Idleburg said, “It is absolutely shameful that a professional school bus driver would put all of those children in his care at significant risk by driving drunk. We are grateful none of the students, and nobody else was injured, as the driver’s horrifically poor judgement could have resulted in a tragic outcome.”

All defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

— Lake County Sheriff’s Office



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