Central Illinois woman files lawsuit after husband killed in school bus, semi crash

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NORMAL, Illinois — The wife of a man who was killed in a head-on collision between a bus and a semi-truck filed a lawsuit against the trucking company on Jan. 7.

Kathy Crabtree is suing Jason Farrell of Clinton and his company, Jason Farrell Trucking, after the fatal accident killed two on Dec. 5, 2018. She’s the wife of Charles Crabtree, who was on the school bus as an athletics volunteer.

Both Charles Crabtree and the truck driver, Ryan Hute, died in the crash. Others on the bus, including the bus driver, the coach and several athletes, were hospitalized.

The lawsuit seeks more than $50,000 in damages, according to WGLT, but Crabtree’s attorney, Jim Ginzkey, said she’s not doing this for the money.

“Kathy volunteered to do this, in part, to help protect the girls… to shield them somewhat from the glaring spotlight of public disclosure,” Ginzkey said.

One of the biggest questions is why the truck was going the wrong way, Ginzkey said. Hute did not have any drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the accident.

The lawsuit alleges Hute failed to “use ordinary care to avoid a collision.”

Related: Illinois high school mourns loss of man killed in I-74 wrong-way crash

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