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Normal West school bus involved in fatal crash

Normal West school bus involved in fatal crash

Photo courtesy of Julie Martin/Ashley Antonini, WZND

A 72-year-old Normal West volunteer and Iowa truck driver are dead after a head-on collision involving a semi-truck and a school bus carrying the Normal West Junior Varsity Girls basketball team Wednesday night.

Charles Crabtree was a former Normal West bus driver and long-time volunteer for Wildcat athletics. He was pronounced dead Wednesday night. The 34-year-old driver of the semi-truck died after being transported via helicopter to Peoria for life-threatening injuries.

Illinois State Police and Normal West High School Communications Director Dana Brown confirmed a semi-truck going heading east in westbound lanes on I-74 collided head-on with the bus carrying 11 people, including members of the team. School officials confirmed all the students on board were transported to nearby hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. A Normal West coach and the team’s bus driver were air-lifted from the scene to nearby Peoria hospitals with what ISP Trooper Tracy Lillard described as “serious, life-threatening injuries.”

The investigation into the crash remains ongoing, and no charges have been filed at this time.

NWHS Communications Director Dayna Brown confirmed that the school will be open on Thursday.

This story was contributed to by Ashley Antonini, John Murray, Julie Martin, and Sarah Feltes. 

WZND Newsroom

December 5th, 2018

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