Two people were killed and several others, including students, were injured when a semi-truck collided with a school bus carrying a high school basketball team in central Illinois Wednesday night, authorities say.

The crash took place at around 8:32 p.m. on I-74 near Downs, Illinois, in McLean County – roughly 10 miles southeast of Bloomington.

The semi-truck was traveling the wrong way in the westbound lanes of I-74 when it struck the school bus head-on, according to a statement from Illinois State Police.

The bus was carrying a total of 11 people, including eight girls on the Normal Community West High School junior varsity basketball team, the driver and two other adult males.

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One of the men, 72-year-old Charles Crabtree, of Normal, Illinois, was killed in the crash, according to ISP. The McLean County school district said Crabtree was a volunteer at Normal West and that the team was on their way back from a game in Champaign.

The driver of the truck, a 34-year-old man from Iowa, was also killed in the crash, ISP said. Further details on his identity were not immediately available.

The eight students on the bus were taken to area hospitals for treatment of injuries that were not thought to be life-threatening, authorities said. Two other adult males on the bus were taken via helicopter to a Peoria hospital, where their conditions were unknown, the school district said.

Moises Castillo/AP

Video of the scene showed just how severe the crash was, with the front portion of the bus’ roof appearing to have peeled back with the impact.

The cause of the crash, and why the semi was going in the wrong direction, remained under investigation, ISP said.


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