Illinois double-decker bus tragedy kills two beneath overpass

An Illinois bus accident has claimed the lives of two young men after the double-decker open-air bus they were riding in passed beneath an overpass.

Justin Sleezer of Yorkville and Cameron Chana of Clarendon Hills were killed when their heads struck the Interstate Highway 57 overpass on Illinois Highway 16 in Mattoon. Fifty passengers, mostly students from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, were returning on the rented bus from a day of boating at Lake Shelbyville, about 200 miles South of Chicago.

Many on the bus were members of Sigma Pi fraternity, however a fraternity member told the Chicago Tribune the trip was not organized by the house.

Witnesses indicated the two young men killed were among the tallest in the group, although it is unclear whether they were standing or sitting on the top deck of the bus when it passed beneath the overpass. Passengers said the driver never told those on the upper deck to sit down or warned them of other safety precautions.

The bus driver took the victims to Lincoln Health Medical Center in Mattoon and they were later transported to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana where they were pronounced dead.

Mattoon Police Chief David Griffith said the investigation is ongoing and police are looking at whether any regulations were violated.

While it has not been reported if any Illinois accident lawyers are involved in the case yet, the families of the victims may have a strong wrongful death claim against the bus company.