Semi-truck driver in deadly bus crash identified

Normal West Junior Varsity Girls Basketball team

2:45 P.M. UPDATE:

The semi driver from Iowa that died has been identified by the Peoria County Coroner as Ryan E. Hute.


11 A.M. UPDATE:

The school now says all of the students who were on the bus, have been released from the hospital.


ORIGINAL:

Officials are providing an update after a deadly crash on I-74 Wednesday night between a semi and a school bus carrying the Normal West Junior Varsity Girls Basketball team.

Two people have died as a result of the crash, the driver of the semi and a volunteer with the school.

Eight Normal West Junior Varsity Girls Basketball players were taken to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

Principal Dave Johnson says at least five of the students have been released from the hospital and are now at home.

The school will be following up to find out the condition of the other three students.

Normal West Junior Varsity Girls Basketball team coach Steve Price, who was injured in the crash, has multiple broken bones, but is now on the road to recovery.

We're told the driver of the bus is in critical condition at this time.

The school will have staff on hand Thursday to help students and faculty.

The volunteer who passed away after the crash, 72 year-old Charlie Crabtree, was a former bus driver for Unit 5 for many years.

“He just had a special way of connecting with students,” Principal Dave Johnson said.

We're told the varsity basketball game scheduled for Thursday night will go on as scheduled.

There will likely be a moment of silence held for Charlie Crabtree at the game.

“He was just a great, great person. Everybody knew Charlie. I didn’t get to talk to him last Tuesday, but he was here last week at our wrestling meet supporting both the Wildcats and the Iron Men as they wrestled different teams He’s just a very special person,” Principal Dave Johnson said.

The crash is still under investigation.

“It appears the front end of the bus doesn’t exist three rows forward... I'd say, looking at the condition of the bus, we witnessed a miracle," Superintendent Mark Daniel said.

Here's the latest update provided Thursday morning at 8:45 a.m.:


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