Bus carrying high school girls team collides head-on killing at least two in a deadly crash

Junie Sihlangu
Dec 06, 2018
11:30 A.M.

On Wednesday night, a bus was carrying 8 Normal West girls basketball players after a game at Champaign Central High School. A semitrailer truck caused an accident with them after traveling on the wrong lane.


Two adults were killed when the vehicles hit each other head-on. Numerous passengers on the bus were injured in the incident.

The Illinois State Police revealed that a school bus and a semitrailer truck crashed on Interstate 74 between Downs and Bloomington on Wednesday night at around 8:30 p.m. The bus was transporting eight Normal West girls basketball players.

None of the students were critically injured in the accident that occurred around mile marker 137 between the Downs and US 51/Main Street exits. The semitrailer truck was driving in the wrong lane when it hit the bus head-on.


For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa. On social media, videos circulated that showed the front of the school bus caved in from the crash.

Two people died in the crash. Charles Crabtree, 72, a volunteer with the basketball team from Normal was one of the victims.


State Police Trooper Tracy Lillard also revealed that the unnamed driver, 34, from Iowa also passed away. He died after being flown to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria.

Two others were in serious condition at the OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center according to OSF Vice President for Public Relations Karen Brodbeck. Four people were in good condition at OSF HealthCare St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington.


The school bus was carrying 11 people at the time of the accident. The police revealed that the semi was traveling east in the westbound lanes when it hit the bus.


The Westbound I-74 remained closed late Wednesday. The Illinois Department of Transportation informed drivers to expect significant delays because of the "major traffic incident."

Illinois State Police stated:

"Currently the crash remains an open and ongoing investigation.”

In a similar incident on Monday, a bus crash killed a 9-year-old boy. The bus was carrying a youth football team when Eula Jarrett, 65, of Tennessee lost control of it at about 2:40 a.m.

The bus went off the road and killed Kameron Johnson, a third-grade student at the Aspire Public Schools.

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