CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Thursday night’s basketball game at Champaign Central High School started in silence.
Everyone took a moment to honor those who were killed and hurt in the bus crash near Bloomington Wednesday night. It happened after Normal West High School played at Central. Normal’s team was headed back on I-74 near Downs when a semi went the wrong way and hit the school bus head on. Two people died and nine others were hurt.
The moment of silence was a heavy reminder of the tragedy that happened. Students, parents, and staff took time to pay respect after the deadly crash. The Normal West High School bus was carrying eleven people back from the junior varsity girls basketball game. Around 8:30 pm, a semi drove the wrong way on the interstate and crashed into the bus.
Central parent Cindy Somers has a daughter who played in that game. She says, “It really could’ve been anybody. We worry about it anytime we put our kids on a bus.”
A basketball team volunteer, 72-year-old Charlie Crabtree was killed. The truck driver, 34-year-old Ryan Hute of Delmar, Iowa died as well. Several students were taken to the hospital, but later released.
The following night, parents at Central’s basketball game sent their thoughts to everyone involved in the crash. Somers says, “We feel for them, we feel for all the families and the poor fatalities that happened. We just pray that everybody is healing over there and everything gets better soon.”
This was a feeling shared by many at the game. Central parent Sandra Harris says, “Things like this do happen, there are times where things like this come up and we don’t have control over it. First thing I did was pray for whoever was involved.”
The bus driver, Mark Kuhn, is still in critical condition. Team coach Steve Price, who suffered multiple broken bones, is still in the hospital too.
Thursday night’s moment of silence is Central’s way of showing support for all of them. Somers says, “I just pray everybody is going to be ok and they can come back from this and stay strong and pray for everybody’s safety in the future.”
There’s still no word on why the semi was going the wrong way.