Sixteen of the 26 occupants of a school bus carrying the Saint Ignatius College Prep Hockey team were injured on Saturday night when their vehicle collided with a transport truck in Warsaw, Indiana.
The driver of the semi truck, 58-year-old Victor Santos of Brooklyn, NY, failed a field sobriety test following the wreck.
He has since been charged with 22 counts of Criminal Recklessness and 24 counts of Causing Bodily Injury While Operating a Vehicle. Santos’ bond was set at $77,500. The Kosciusko County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has not yet assigned a court date for Santos.
“The 26 counts match the 26 victims of this crime,” said Warsaw Police captain Brad Kellar. “While thorough investigation has led to these charges, this investigation continues on behalf of the Kosciusko County Prosecutor, and additional charges or enhancements could follow in the future. Some of these injuries are extremely serious and we continue to pray for the full recovery of all the students, coaches, and the bus driver who unfortunately fell victim to these crimes.”
According to the police report, local deputies were already in pursuit of Santos, who allegedly had been swerving out of his lane and driving of the road. The semi ran a red light and collided with the rear of the school bus as it entered the intersection of Center Street and US I-30, and rotated it 180 degrees before being knocked onto its side. The semi came to a rest in a nearby ditch.
According to travel logs, the bus was travelling to a hotel after a team restaurant dinner following the completing of a tournament at Culver Military Academy.
All 26 members inside the bus – including 23 junior varsity aged students, two coaches and one driver – survived the crash. Three players were transported to hospital in critical condition, including one student who was ejected from the bus, but all are expected to pull through.
— Saint Ignatius College Prep Athletics (@SICPWolfpack) November 13, 2022
“We send our thoughts and prayers to the Saint Ignatius College Prep’s hockey team, their coaches and their families after the team was involved in a serious bus accident last night,” the Chicago Blackhawks posted in a statement. “Please join us in keeping them in your thoughts.”
Sixteen individuals suffered injuries in the crash, while most were minor, the three at hospital have received upgraded statuses over the week. Two were sent to Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne while the other continues his recovery at Parkview Health, also in Fort Wayne. The players on the bus ranged in age from 14-17, while the 15 is the mode number.