Injured bus driver has serious lung injury

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Photo: WEEK Photo: WEEK
Photo: WEEK Photo: WEEK

MCLEAN COUNTY, Ill. (WAND) – The name of a bus driver injured in a deadly school bus crash has been released. 

Mark Kuhn, a 64-year-old Heyworth man, was driving a school bus with the Normal Community West High School girls' JV basketball team on board Wednesday night. Troopers say a semi-truck went the wrong direction on I-74 near Downs and crashed head-on into the bus. 

Kuhn suffered a serious lung injury, along with broken bones and broken vertebrae, his daughter told WEEK.

The person behind the wheel of the semi-truck was 34-year-old Ryan E. Hute, who is from Delmar, Iowa. WEEK reports he died in hospital care at OSF St. Francis Medical Center after responders airlifted him from the crash scene. He was in critical condition before his death. 

Normal Community West volunteer Charlie Crabtree, 72, also died in the crash. He was a passenger in the bus, along with 47-year-old Bloomington man Steven P. Price and eight female minors. 

Damage to the front end of the bus appeared to extend into the first several rows of seats. The bus carried the girls’ JV basketball team from Normal Community West High School. They were returning from a game in the Champaign area.

The crash, a head-on collision between a bus and a semi-truck, was near Downs in the westbound I-74 lanes. The station says police blocked off seven miles of traffic in the area near mile post 136.

McLean County Unit 5 Schools said on Facebook that 11 students were on board and all of them had non-life threatening injuries. All of them went to hospitals for treatment.

OSF St. Francis in Peoria said the adult bus driver remains in critical condition. The coach is listed in fair condition.

Four students were treated and released at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington.

Parents of players are asked to go to Normal West High School, according to a Facebook post from McLean County Unit 5 schools. 

"Staff is on hand at the school to help support students and parents," the post said. "Please keep our Normal West family in your thoughts."

The crash remains under investigation Friday. 

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