Illinois State Police responded to a crash around 8:30 Wednesday evening. They are still investigating. We reached out to ISP, but they declined to comment. The incident happened at mile marker 137 on westbound Interstate 74. ISP tells us via press release the semi was traveling eastbound in the westbound lane when it hit the school bus head on.
The driver of the truck was Ryan Hute, 34 years old from Delmar, Iowa. He was life-flighted to OSF Saint Francis Medical in Peoria where he was later pronounced dead. Hute worked for Jason Farrell trucking, a small company in Clinton, Iowa. “Here he’s not just a driver. Here he’s part of the family,” explained Jason Farrell, owner of Jason Farrell Trucking. He added, “There’s some boys at home that really don’t understand why dad’s not coming home from work anymore.”
According to Iowa state records, Hute had been cited numerous times for violations. Those citations include speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, and failure to comply with safety rules.
Around midnight, state police called in Southtown Wrecker to clean up the scene. Eric Hays, owner and operator of Southtown Wrecker described the scene as, “A bad deal. I mean it was pretty violent.” He said his team was on the scene from around midnight until nearly 6 AM Thursday morning. “Anytime there’s a school bus involved, it’s not a very good feeling when you go out there,” added Hays.
As far as the damage to the bus and truck, Hays says the front end of both vehicles was “pretty much gone.” “It ranks right up there with one of the worst ones I’ve seen in a long time,” explained Hays.
The bus and truck were hauled back to Southtown Wrecker in Bloomington where ISP is investigating.