NORTH WEBSTER, Ind. Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department are now releasing the names of the four school bus drivers in Wednesday's crash along State Road 13 north of the town of North Webster.
K.C.S.D. deputies have determined that Cynthia K. Routh, 64, North Webster, was the lead bus that had stopped to allow a student to exit her school bus.
David W. Granger, 63, Warsaw, was following behind the Routh's bus.
Julie K. Close, 47, Syracuse, was the third bus, directly behind the Granger driven school bus.
The final and rear bus was driven by John R. Wagoner, 61, North Webster. Wagoner’s school bus impacted the rear of the bus driven by Julie Close that caused the chain reaction of all vehicles.
Police say more than 50 students and three drivers were injured in an accident involving four buses Wednesday afternoon.
Thursday morning counselors are being made available at the Wawasee Middle and High School today for students.
The accident happened around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 7400 block of State Road 13, just north of North Webster.
Police say the buses were southbound when the first bus stopped to let a student off. That caused a chain reaction, where each bus crashed into the other.
"Everyone just shot up in the air and a lot of people went flying over the seats," said Sam Griner, an 8th grader on the second bus. "And, then people were just screaming and stuff and the bus had a lot of smoke in it, a bunch of windows broken."
Students on that second bus were unable to get out through the back door, so they instead used the emergency exit windows to evacuate.
They were held in a nearby cornfield until police and ambulances arrived at the scene.
"Right when the crash happened, it was just a split second of darkness," said Luke Griner, who was also on the second bus. "And, I opened my eyes and see a broken windshield and I feel blood coming down my chin. And, I feel my lip and it's bleeding a lot."
Griner and several other students were treated for minor injuries at nearby K.C.H.
Police say some students were taken to IU/Goshen Hospital and the Kosciusko Community Hospital of Warsaw. None of them are listed in serious or critical condition.
Three of the four bus drivers were injured in the crash, too. The driver of the last bus, Wagoner, was airlifted to Parkview Regional Medical Center and is in fair to serious condition after undergoing surgery.
Indiana State Police are assisting the Kosciusko Sheriff's Department and F.A.C.T. with the investigation. It's unclear if the accident was the result of human or mechanical error. Determining thecause could take days.