Coroner: Truck Driver Not Drunk Before I-74 Bus Crash | WGLT

Coroner: Truck Driver Not Drunk Before I-74 Bus Crash

Jan 23, 2019

The driver whose truck collided head-on with a Normal West school bus last month was not drunk or on drugs at the time of the crash, the Peoria County coroner said Wednesday.

Toxicology results show Ryan E. Hute, 34, of Delmar, Iowa, had no substance in his system other than caffeine, said Coroner Jamie Harwood. In other words, he said, the toxicology testing was negative.

“Based on the facts of the investigation, his manner of death was ruled accidental,” Harwood said.

Hute died in the Dec. 5 wrong-way crash on Interstate 74. Also killed was Charlie Crabtree, 72, a volunteer with the Normal West girls basketball team that was returning from a game in Champaign-Urbana. Coach Steve Price and bus driver Mark Kuhn were injured but survived. None of the student-athletes were seriously hurt.

Crabtree’s wife has sued Hute’s employer, Iowa-based Jason Farrell Trucking, in McLean County court. Her pending lawsuit alleges Hute failed to “use ordinary care to avoid a collision.” It seeks over $50,000 in damages.

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