Police investigating crash involving school bus in Warsaw
WARSAW, Ind. (WNDU) - UPDATE: Eyewitnesses say the westbound semi blew through a red light and struck the bus as it turned left onto U.S. 30.
Three of the 23 students remain at area hospitals, but doctors say they are all in stable condition.
Sixteen students were injured in the crash and taken to the hospital. The original press release from Warsaw listed thirteen students.
Most of the student’s parents were in the area for the hockey tournament and arrived on the scene shortly after it happened. The remainder of the students returned home to Chicago.
“We are grateful that so many of our parents from the hockey team were in the area because they had traveled with their team,” said Saint Ignatius College Prep President John Chandler. “They are a very close-knit, loyal community for each other, and so, that helped to have that kind of initial parent support there.”
Chandler said it’s nothing short of a miracle that no one lost their life.
“You know, sometimes folks don’t think about the issues of miracles in our secular society and whatever you might want to call it, fate, miracle, whatever, truly, these young men had some very good guardian angels,” said Chandler.
He also offered prayers for the truck driver involved in the collision.
“There is prayer that is offered for him, that he finds assistance and help for whatever has troubled him and has caused him to descend to this particular level,” said Chandler.
Chandler also says it’s a true blessing that the Saint Ignatius community has reached out and supported the families affected by the crash.
Police were not immediately available for comment. Warsaw Police Captain Brad Kellar, the department’s public information officer, left the scene and headed to the hospital to check on the students injured in the crash.
In the American Justice System, a criminal suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
A crash involving a semi-truck and a school bus in Kosciusko County sent multiple students to the hospital.
Around 8 p.m., Kosciusko Central Dispatch had advised that a semi-truck with New Jersey plates was driving westbound at excessive speed, swerving into other lanes and driving off the roadway near the Warsaw city limits on U.S. 30.
Minutes later, the semi collided with the bus at the corner of U.S. 30 and Center Street in Warsaw, substantially damaging both vehicles and causing the bus to fall on the driver’s side, with the truck coming to a stop in a roadside ditch. Damage to the truck’s front end and the rear end of the passenger side of the bus indicated that the truck struck the bus. No other vehicles were involved.
First responders from Warsaw, Winona Lake, Kosciusko County, and Indiana State Police were dispatched to the scene, where they found multiple injuries to passengers on the bus.
According to a press release, the Illinois bus was transporting 23 students and two adult coaches of the Saint Ignatius College Prep’s hockey team to a local hotel after a game at Culver Academy when the collision occurred. Two critically injured students were taken to Fort Wayne Lutheran Hospital, and one was transported to Lutheran Kosciusko County.
Other injured students were treated and released. According to police reports, 13 students were injured, with three being critical. It appeared that at least one of the juveniles had been ejected from the bus, and there were other injuries spanning from critical to minor. The student’s ages range from 14 to 17 years old.
The crash remains under investigation, but after smelling alcohol on the truck driver’s breath, Warsaw police initiated a DIU investigation. The truck driver, Victor Santos of Brooklyn, New York, failed the field sobriety test, and when he refused to take a chemical test, Warsaw Police obtained a search warrant.
Pending formal charges, the Kosciusko County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office placed a 48-hour hold on the truck driver with preliminary charges of Operating While Intoxicated, Causing Serious Bodily Injury, a level 5 felony.
For several hours, the westbound lanes of U.S. 30 were closed, and traffic was diverted onto Center Street.
Stay with 16 News Now on air and online as we work to learn more.
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