Two people have life-threatening injuries after a charter bus carrying the Columbus Cottonmouths professional hockey team were involved in a rollover Thursday afternoon near Morton.
25 News has independently confirmed the team was headed to Peoria to play against the Peoria Rivermen this weekend. The rollover happened shortly after 1 p.m. on the I-155 northbound off ramp to I-74 westbound.
An OSF Saint Francis spokeswoman said the hospital took a total of 23 patients in. Three were taken by ambulance and are considered trauma patients in serious condition. Most patients had minor injuries and were released. UnityPoint Health-Methodist took one patient. That patient was since released.
The Morton Fire Department said two people were extricated from the bus after firefighters cut a hole in the roof. Patients with minor injuries were taken to the hospital in a Morton 709 school bus, while those more seriously injured were taken by ambulance.
Illinois State Police said the bus traveled off the road and fell off the ramp onto its right side. Emergency responders cut a hole in the roof to extract the injured. Weather is believed to have played a factor.
The ramp will remain closed for the next 8 hours for a crash investigation and vehicle removal.
In a statement, the Cottonmouths said they are waiting to confirm the cause of the accident and haven't confirmed if the team can play on Friday and Saturday. The Columbus, Ga. team plays in the Southern Professional Hockey League.
Chicago Cubs player Ben Zobrist and his wife, singer Julianna Zobrist, are slated to appear at the game on Saturday. Ben Zobrist cancelled an earlier scheduled appearance due to illness.
25 News and HOI News has a crew on scene and will update this post when we have more information.