WARSAW, Ind. — More than a dozen people were injured the night of Nov. 12 after a tractor-trailer slammed into a busload of students who were in Warsaw, Indiana, for a weekend hockey tournament.
Warsaw police said that at approximately 8:06 p.m., they were notified of a tractor-trailer with New Jersey registration swerving into multiple lanes and driving at excessive speeds on U.S. Highway 30. It was also reported that the big rig was traveling off the roadway as it entered the city limits of Warsaw.
Within two minutes of officers being dispatched to intercept it, the tractor-trailer struck a school bus loaded with students from St. Ignatius College Prep out of Chicago, Illinois, in the right rear at the intersection of Center Street.
At least one of the young people on board was ejected from the bus, according to police reports. The school bus was on its side when officers arrived.
Witnesses and a nearby surveillance camera confirmed that the tractor-trailer ran through a red stop light seconds before striking the bus at the intersection.
The tractor-trailer continued west, coming to a stop after driving off the roadway into a ditch one-eighth of a mile from the intersection where it hit the school bus.
Police said that the driver, 58-year-old Victor Santos of Brooklyn, New York, failed a field sobriety test and refused to consent to chemical tests. Police also reported that both he and the cab of his rig reeked of alcohol.
A search warrant was granted for officers to have hospital staff take a blood draw from Santos.
The bus driver, in cooperation with investigators, consented to a blood draw due to the seriousness of this collision.
The bus was carrying 23 students from ages 14-17, two adult coaches and the bus driver. There was a total of 16 injuries, with three on the bus were reported to be in critical condition. As of Nov. 13, all of those injured on the bus were reported to be in stable condition.
Santos was held on a 48-hour hold and is facing charges of operating while intoxicated and causing serious bodily injury, a level 5 felony.
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