WARSAW, Ind. – A crash between a school bus and semi left three student-athletes in stable condition Saturday evening, police say.
The Warsaw Police Department says the crash happened just after 8 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. 30 and Center Street. Police received calls prior to a tractor-trailer swerving into other lanes and speeding. Officers were on their way to intercept the semi-trailer when they were notified it hit a school bus.
Police said a total of 26 people were on the bus, including two coaches, the bus driver, and the high school hockey team from St. Ignatius College Prep out of Chicago, Illinois. The team was in Indiana for the weekend for a hockey tournament and were on the back to their hotel at the time of the crash, according to police.
First responders quickly determined multiple children ranging from 14 and 17 years old with most being 15 were injured.
Medics transported two of the critically injured athletes to a hospital in Fort Wayne. Medics also transported the other critically injured student-athlete to a hospital in Warsaw. 13 others suffered injuries. The rest of the athletes, coaches, and the bus driver went to an area hospital by Warsaw Community Schools, according to police.
Everyone hurt in the crash is now reported to be in stable condition.
An initial investigation determined at least one of the student-athletes was ejected from the bus as it was making a turn off U.S. 30 onto Center Street. Police said the bus driver cooperated with investigators and consented to a blood draw due to the seriousness of the crash.
Police say the semi-driver continued west of U.S. 30 before coming to a stop off the roadway near where the crash happened. Officers reported detecting a strong odor of alcohol when they talked with the driver of the semi. The driver also had slurred speech when talking with officers on the scene.
Warsaw police officers began an OWI investigation. The semi-driver failed the field sobriety test, then refused a chemical test by officers. The department said they were granted a search warrant allowing them to take the driver to an area hospital for a blood draw.
The driver has been identified as 58-year-old Victor Santos of Brooklyn, New York. Santos was preliminarily charged with felony operating while intoxicated, causing serious bodily injury.
The crash remains under investigation.