Truck driver was removing jacket just before deadly Indiana bus crash, police say


This Indiana school bus was hit by a truck on the way to a Christmas musical. (Photo courtesy: Indiana State Police)

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ARGOS, Ind. — Indiana State Police say the driver of a truck that rear-ended a school bus in December, killing one student, was removing a jacket and a sweatshirt just before the collision.

A crash report released Wednesday says the truck driver was traveling behind the bus Dec. 5 when he “pulled the clothing over his head and briefly took his eyes off the roadway.”

The report says that when the driver looked up he was unable to avoid rear-ending the bus, killing 13-year-old Owen Abbott of Winimac along U.S. 31 about 30 miles south of South Bend.

Bus crash victim Owen Abbott. (Photo provided by family via WSBT)

The bus was carrying students from the Eastern Pulaski school district to see a Christmas musical.

The crash report was forwarded to Marshall County prosecutors, who announced Thursday afternoon that they will convene a grand jury on Feb. 4 to determine whether the trucker will face criminal charges.

Meantime, three civil lawsuits have been filed against Perry and the trucking company he worked for.

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