Two Tremont H.S. Students Killed in School Bus Accident Identified

By Ashley McNamee

January 22, 2011 Updated Jan 23, 2011 at 9:43 AM CDT

Weather may have been the cause of an accident that killed two Tremont High School students and injured 11 other people on Interstate 74 near Carlock Saturday morning.

Authorities say a school bus carrying the Tremont varsity girls basketball team struck a pick-up truck with four Tremont High School students head on.

McLean County Coroner Beth Kimmerling has identified the two teens killed as Michael P. Honan II, age 18, and Celine Estes, age 17.

Kimmerling says Honan was driving his truck westbound on I-74 before he crossed the median into oncoming traffic, clipping the rear of a semi-tractor trailer before being hit by the eastbound bus, containing his classmates.

Estes was the rear seat passenger. The two other occupants were injured. The injured females were transported to OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria with injuries.

The Tremont Community Unit School District 702 Superintendent Donald Beard says the the team was traveling to Downs for a tournament.

Beard says the 15 players, the team's coach and the bus driver were taken to OSF St. Joseph in Bloomington. He says everyone was checked out and released. He says the coach may have lost some teeth in the accident, which he noted was the most serious injury on board the bus.

Beard believes all of the players returned to Tremont Saturday afternoon. Tremont Coach Michelle Williams says her players are shaken up and sore, but that they're alright.

Beard says district administrators will meet to discuss the accident. Beard would not confirm that the teen who died were students, but says they will have grief counselors on hand Monday morning.

Monday's game against Ridgeview was cancelled, so the team's next game will be Thursday against Fieldcrest away.

Illinois State Police are still investigating the accident.

This photo is courtesy of our news partners at the Pantagraph.