Advertisement

5 Dead, Including 3 Preschoolers, After School Bus Collides with Semi Truck in Illinois

"It's devastating. It's quite a tragedy," county sheriff Bill Redshaw said

<p>CBS Evening News/ Youtube</p> Deadly Illinois school bus crash

CBS Evening News/ Youtube

Deadly Illinois school bus crash

Five people, including three young children, are dead after a two-vehicle accident in Illinois on Monday.

A school bus transporting three preschoolers collided with a semi-truck that was carrying sand around 11:30 a.m. on U.S. 24 by Parkview Road, multiple sources have confirmed. According to NPR Illinois, both vehicles caught fire and were engulfed in flames after the sudden impact.

Related: Child Killed, Over 20 Injured After Ohio School Bus Crash on First Day of School: 'Tragic'

All three children, the school bus driver and the truck driver were killed.

The victims have been identified by Schuyler County coroner as David Coufal, 72, from Browning; Angela Spiker, 57, from Rushville; Maria Miller, 5, from Rushville; Andrew Miller, 3, from Rushville, and Noah Driscoll, a 3-year-old child from Rushville.

Families of the victims have been notified, per ABC News.

The accident happened near Rushville, about 230 miles southwest of Chicago and 57 miles northwest of the state capital of Springfield.

<p>CBS Evening News/ Youtube</p>

CBS Evening News/ Youtube

Schuyler-Industry Schools was among the first to confirm the incident, while expressing their condolences for the lives lost and everyone impacted.

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce our school community has lost both staff and students in the traffic incident involving one of our school buses this morning,” they began in a Facebook post earlier on Monday.

<p>Getty</p> police on highway -- stock image

Getty

police on highway -- stock image

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and our community,” they added, declining to share the names of the deceased until the families had been contacted.

The district added that school would not be in session on Tuesday or Wednesday.

“Counselors and support staff will still be available for students and teachers during this very difficult time,” the Facebook message concluded.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

As of Monday evening, the post had been shared over 900 times and garnered an outpouring of supportive comments from the community.

Elected officials mourned the loss as well.

<p>Getty</p> Stock image of an ambulance

Getty

Stock image of an ambulance

"Schuyler County is a small county, a small community," county sheriff Bill Redshaw said, per NPR Illinois. "It's a close knit family and when you have lost a life like this, it's devastating. It's quite a tragedy."

The National Transportation Safety Board said it plans to carry out a thorough investigation.

Related: 5-Year-Old N.Y. Girl Fatally Struck by School Bus After She Was Dropped Her Off Near Her Home

“The NTSB, in coordination with Illinois State Police, is sending a team to conduct a safety investigation into Monday’s multi-vehicle collision involving a school bus and a truck tractor in combination with a semitrailer on U.S. Highway 24 in Rushville, Schuyler County, Illinois,” the organization wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter) later that evening.

As authorities worked on determining a possible cause of the collision, the road had been closed for several hours earlier in the day.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.