UNITED STATES NEWS

Illinois police identify the three kids and two drivers killed when a school bus hit a semitruck

Mar 12, 2024, 5:51 AM | Updated: 2:08 pm

RUSHVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities have identified the five people killed in a fiery collision between a school bus and semitruck on a highway in rural Illinois, including a young brother and sister, another 3-year-old boy and both drivers.

The eastbound bus from Schuyler-Industry Schools crossed into westbound U.S. Route 24 “for an unknown reason” Monday and into the path of a semi carrying sand, according to the state police’s preliminary findings.

Both vehicles “became engulfed in flames” after colliding, which happened at around 11:30 a.m. in Rushville, a Schuyler County community of about 3,000 roughly 60 miles (95 kilometers) west of Springfield, the agency said. All four people aboard the bus — three children and the driver — were killed, as was the truck’s driver.

The county coroner identified the children as 5-year-old Maria Miller, 3-year-old Andrew Miller and 3-year-old Noah Driscoll, all from Rushville, state police said. Maria and Andrew Miller were sister and brother, the county coroner confirmed Tuesday.

The bus driver was identified as Angela Spiker, 57, of Rushville, and the truck driver as David Coufal, 72, who was from the nearby village of Browning.

Sheriff Bill Redshaw said that at the time of the crash, the bus was taking the kids to school.

He told reporters Monday that the tragedy hit the small community hard.

“There’s not really words at this time that can be said,” Redshaw said. “When you have a loss of life like this, it’s devastating.”

The Rev. Pamela Thompson, co-pastor of Life Family Church in Virginia, Illinois, described the Miller children as sweet, innocent and “pure-hearted.”

“They were always ready to play hug. They loved coming to church and loved their family so much,” said Thompson, who co-pastors the church with her husband, Brandon. The Miller family attends the church.

Church members and the community were “heartbroken” after learning about the crash, she said.

“Everyone was ready to step up and do whatever it took to support Sarah and her family,” she said, referring to the siblings’ mother. “It’s been really hard for everybody. It’s just a different dynamic when little children are involved. It just hits everybody.”

Schuyler-Industry Schools canceled classes Tuesday and Wednesday because of the crash.

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce our school community has lost both staff and students in the traffic incident involving one of our school buses this morning,” the school district said in a statement.

The cause of the crash is under investigation by a National Transportation Safety Board team and the state police, the Illinois agency announced.

The coroner said autopsies on the victims were being conducted Tuesday in Springfield.

United States News

Associated Press

A jury of his peers: A look at how jury selection will work in Donald Trump’s first criminal trial

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s history-making criminal trial is set to start Monday with a simple but extraordinary procedural step that is vital to American democracy. A group of regular citizens — Trump’s peers, in the eyes of the law — will be chosen to decide whether the former president of the United States […]

52 minutes ago

Associated Press

Authorities say 4 people are dead after a train collided with a pickup in rural Idaho

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Four people are dead after the vehicle they were traveling in was struck by a train in rural Idaho Saturday, authorities said. Idaho State Police said the pickup was carrying a 38-year-old man, 36-year-old woman and two children, who were all from Nampa. The vehicle was traveling on a private road […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Woman with history of DUIs sentenced to 15 years to life for California crash that killed mom-to-be

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California woman with a history of convictions for driving under the influence has been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for a crash that killed a 23-year-old pregnant woman and left her baby in critical condition. Courtney Pandolfi, 44, pleaded guilty to second degree murder earlier […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Utah school board member who questioned a student’s gender loses party nomination for reelection

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A conservative Utah State Board of Education member who faced calls to resign after lawmakers said she bullied a student on social media lost her nomination for reelection Saturday. Natalie Cline needed at least 40% of the delegate votes at the Salt Lake County Republican Convention, but she fell short […]

5 hours ago

An Iranian demonstrator chants slogans while attending an anti-Israeli gathering at the Felestin (P...

Associated Press

The Latest | Iran launches its first direct military attack against Israel

Iran launched its first direct military attack against Israel on Saturday, prompting internal discussion among U.S. leaders.

7 hours ago

Hildale, Utah, is pictured sitting at the base of Red Rock Cliff mountains, with its sister city, C...

Associated Press

Guilty plea by leader of polygamous sect near the Arizona-Utah border is at risk of being thrown out

A guilty plea by the leader of an offshoot polygamous sect near the Arizona-Utah border is at risk of being thrown out.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Illinois police identify the three kids and two drivers killed when a school bus hit a semitruck