A 2016 Freightliner straight truck that was towing a trailer, rear-ended a school bus at an Indiana railroad stop, killing one student and sending several more to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.
The crash occurred at 9:06 a.m. local time, with 38 students and three chaperones onboard during a field trip, according to the Indiana State Police (ISP). The students were eighth-graders on their way to see a Christmas musical in Warsaw, Indiana.
ISP reported that a 14-year-old boy who was seated in the left rear of the bus was pronounced dead at the scene by the Marshall County Coroner. One child, Zane Bell, 14, was airlifted to a hospital in South Bend, while the remaining children were taken to St. Joseph Hospital in nearby Argos, Indiana. There the students were to be reunited with their families. The name of the deceased student has not been released, but ISP said all families had been notified.
The Eastern Pulaski Community Schools bus driven by Cheryl Warner, 54, was stopped at the railroad crossing, and was proceeding to accelerate when the truck hit it. ISP confirmed in a statement that the school bus driver was correctly following procedures. The weather did not appear to be a factor.
ISP added that toxicology results for both Warner and the truck driver are pending.
The crash occurred on U.S. 31 near State Road 10. The intersection is considered to be among the top five most dangerous in the state, said Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Doug Moats, according to an article published last year by WSBT.com.
The student fatality was the fourth in Indiana in the past five weeks. Three students, twin brothers and their stepsister, were struck and killed by a passing motorist on Oct. 30 as they attempted to cross the road to their waiting school bus.