3 Children and 2 Adults Killed as School Bus and Truck Collide in Illinois

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Five people, including three young children, were killed on Monday morning when a school bus collided with a semi-truck on an Illinois roadway, setting both vehicles ablaze, the police said.

The crash happened at about 11:30 a.m. on Route 24 near Rushville, a city of about 2,600 residents in western Illinois roughly 50 miles northwest of Springfield. The school bus, which was carrying three children — two 3-year-olds and one 5-year-old — was traveling west when it crossed into the eastbound lane and struck a semi-truck carrying sand, Capt. Jody Huffman of the Illinois State Police said at a news conference.

The impact sparked a fire that engulfed both vehicles, Captain Huffman said, noting that all five people in the vehicles were killed. The driver of each vehicle and the three children were pronounced dead at the scene. Officials said they were still investigating the crash and were trying to determine why the school bus had veered into oncoming traffic.

The three children who were killed were identified by Terry L. Millsagle, the Schuyler county coroner, as Maria Miller, 5; Andrew Miller, 3; and Noah Driscoll, 3, all of Rushville, Ill. The driver of the bus was Angela Spiker, 57, of Rushville, and, and the driver of the semi-truck was identified as David Coufal, 72, of Browning, Ill.

The school bus belonged to the Schuyler-Industry Schools district, which is based in Rushville. Email messages sent to the school district were not immediately answered Monday evening.

“School will not be in session tomorrow, Tuesday, March 12 and Wednesday, March 13,” the school district said in a statement.

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