Illinois State Trooper gives exclusive Cottonmouths crash details

COLUMBUS, Ga. – One hockey player and a bus driver remain hospitalized after the bus carrying the Columbus Cottonmouths crashed in Illinois.

Friday, our own Ashley Garrett spoke exclusively to one of the investigators on scene to get the latest update.

The crash happened near Morton, Illinois around 1 o’clock Thursday. According to team representatives, it happened as the team was headed to Peoria to play the Rivermen hockey team.

“Expecting to have a really good year this year,” says Brandon Jaeger back in October.

He was in surgery Friday morning.

He was among the 24 team members rushed to the hospital after the team’s bus overturned.

The passengers include: 19 players, a coach, two trainers, a bus driver and an equipment person.

Friday, Trooper Ross Green with the Illinois police spoke to News Three.

“At this time the bus is still awaiting a level one bus inspector is certified through the federal government to inspect buses on post-crash incidents,” says Trooper Green.

Trooper Green says that inspection is expected to take place at some point Friday.

He describes the scene.

“There were crews on scene immediately. Morton Fire Department…we had several mutual aid fire departments that jumped in,” says Trooper Green.

Residents are weighing in on the frightening encounter. They say it could’ve been a lot worse.

“But thank God it wasn’t and they only sustained small injuries but I pray that all of them have a safe recovery,” says Jaccorey Nelson.

The Commissioner of the league will make the decision regarding if the Cottonmouths will play this weekend.

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