Truck col­lides head-on with Illinois school bus; 2 dead

The Peterborough Examiner - - Canada & World -

DOWNS, ILL. — A semi-trailer head­ing the wrong way on an in­ter­state crashed into a school bus car­ry­ing an Illinois high school girls’ bas­ket­ball team, killing the truck driver and an adult on the bus, au­thor­i­ties said Thurs­day. Illinois State Po­lice said eight girls were in­jured when the truck col­lided head-on with their bus Wed­nes­day night along In­ter­state 74 near Downs, a vil­lage in cen­tral Illinois about 185 kilo­me­tres south­west of Chicago. Po­lice said the bus driver and a coach also were in­jured.

Nor­mal West High School Prin­ci­pal Dave John­son said five girls had been treated and re­leased from the hospi­tal as of mid-morn­ing Thurs­day. Po­lice said none of the girls’ in­juries was con­sid­ered life threat­en­ing. John­son said the coach, Steve Price, suf­fered “mul­ti­ple bro­ken bones that will re­quire surgery,” but that he was also ex­pected to re­cover. John­son said he didn’t know the con­di­tion of the bus driver.

Po­lice iden­ti­fied the bus pas­sen­ger who died as 72-year-old Charles Crab­tree, a vol­un­teer with the high school.

Pre­lim­i­nary re­ports in­di­cate the truck driver, iden­ti­fied by the Peo­ria County Coro­ner as Ryan E. Hute, 34, of Del­mar, Iowa, was trav­el­ling east­bound in the west­bound lanes, au­thor­i­ties said. The west­bound lanes were closed fol­low­ing the crash.

The girls’ team was re­turn­ing from a game at Cham­paign Cen­tral, Nor­mal West ath­letic di­rec­tor Stan Lewis told The (Bloom­ing­ton) Pan­ta­graph. Lewis said the bus was car­ry­ing the school’s fresh­man team and some mem­bers of the ju­nior var­sity team.

Par­ents and friends of the in­jured stu­dents gath­ered at the school for up­dates as word of the crash spread on so­cial me­dia.

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