Two dead, eight students recovering from Illinois school bus crash

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DOWNS, Ill. -- Updated: Dec. 6, 2018, 1:45 p.m.

Eight girls from an Illinois high school basketball team were released from the hospital after they were on board a bus vs. semi-truck accident on Wednesday night.

According to a Facebook post from Normal West High School, the students are recovering and one coach has several broken bones from the accident.

Police say school volunteer Charles Crabtree and the truck driver passed away from the accident.

The high school's Facebook post​ reads:

"Thanks to all of those who have helped support Normal West during this difficult time. We are so sad to see the passing of a great Wildcat volunteer, Charlie Crabtree. Charlie had a special way of connecting to every student he met. This is a great loss for our school.

All students have been released from the hospital and are recovering from the accident. Although Coach Price has many broken bones, he is on the path to recovery as well. Please continue to send positive thoughts.

WEST - Where Everyone Succeeds Together"


Published: Dec. 6, 2018, 8:45 a.m.

DOWNS, Ill. (AP) -- Authorities say a semitrailer heading the wrong way on an interstate in central Illinois collided head-on with a school bus carrying members of a high school basketball team, killing the driver of the truck and an adult on the bus.

Illinois State Police say eight girls on the bus were injured in the head-on crash Wednesday night on Interstate 74 near Downs, about 115 miles southwest of Chicago. Police say the bus driver and a coach also were injured.

Police say preliminary reports indicate the truck was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes.

Normal West High School athletic director Stan Lewis told The (Bloomington) Pantagraph the girls' team was returning from a game.

Police say 72-year-old Charles Crabtree of Normal, Illinois, was the bus passenger who died. He was a volunteer with Normal West.

The driver of the truck was identified by police as a 34-year-old man from Iowa.