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Teens, truck driver recovering after deadly school bus crash


The driver of a truck that hit a school bus head-on Thursday is recovering, along with the teenagers that were on the bus.

University of Missouri Health Care staff tell ABC 17 News that two teenagers are improving after suffering serious injuries. The other two teens were released from the hospital, said Jeffery Hoelscher, a media relations staff member for the hospital.

Hospital staff did not have information on Brandon Brill, the 26-year-old man driving the truck that hit the bus on Route F, Friday afternoon. Officials told ABC 17 News earlier in the day that Brill was in good condition, but later said they had no information available.

The crash killed Brian Simpson, the Harrisburg High School teacher and cross-country coach, who was driving the bus.

Harrisburg school district officials cancelled classes for Friday in light of Simpson’s death.

The Fayette Athletic Boosters turned its regular Friday evening tailgate into a fundraiser for Simpson’s memorial fund. Harrisburg and Fayette were scheduled to play each other Friday night.

“A lot of people in Fayette and Harrisburg know one another,” football coach Roger Vandezande told ABC 17 News. “We certainly see each other in sports and academics, and we’re in the same conference. And I know we certainly wanted to help them out.”

Booster president Brett Frerking said they decided quickly to repurpose the tailgate when they learned about Simpson’s death on Thursday.

“It’s just a tragedy when something like that hits a small community, because everybody is family,” Frerking said. “Everybody knows everybody.”

Online court records show Boone County Prosecutor Dan Knight requested records in several of Brill’s court convictions.

Brill has a history of driving-related crimes. He pleaded guilty five times since 2010 to driving with a revoked license in Boone, Randolph and Audrain counties, some of them felonies. Brill also has convictions for misdemeanor resisting arrest and possession of marijuana in that time. The Department of Corrections confirms he spent three months in prison when he violated his probation for an Audrain County case.

ABC 17 News was unable to speak with Knight on Friday afternoon about his requests.

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ABC 17 News Team


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