Bus Transporting Hockey Team Rolled Over

Jan 19, 2017

Credit Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Those traveling from northbound Interstate 155 to westbound I-74 were rerouted into Morton Thursday afternoon and evening. Emergency responders were working to remove a charter bus that rolled over while negotiating the exit ramp at about 1:00p.m.

The Columbus Cottonmouths Hockey Team from Georgia was in-route to play the Peoria Rivermen this weekend when their bus wasn’t able make the exit ramp, hit the embankment, and rolled.

Morton Fire Chief Joe Kelley says they had to cut a hole into the top of the bus to make enough of an area that they could bring out two of the people on the charter bus. Three were taken away via ambulance and the rest were taken to OSF St. Francis on a school bus for medical evaluation.

Emergency personnel worked to remove the bus and its trailer in the evening hours. A state police Level 1 bus investigator was also brought to the scenes to account for any mechanical issues that may have contributed to the accident.

Illinois State Police District 8 Spokesman Ross Green says the wet conditions certainly didn’t help. Further Green says the triple axle bus, was towing a double axle trailer when it failed to negotiate the ramp, “and any time you have a trailer with any amount of weight, and especially a bus, it does play into how fast it can stop and how it can negotiate a turn. So that definitely didn’t help matters coming around the curve.”  

A spokeswoman for the Georgia-state Cottonmouths says none of the injuries their team sustained in the accident are life threatening. But they are still working to determine whether they will be able to play either game, Friday or Saturday, in Peoria.