Woman badly injured after crash involving IPS school bus; witnesses tell police bus ran stop sign


Photo from IPS Police crash report

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.— A woman was seriously injured in a crash involving a bus with the Indianapolis Public Schools Monday morning.

The accident happened just before 9 a.m. in the 4200 block of E. Pleasant Run Pkway S. Drive.

IMPD and IPS Police dispatch confirmed the accident, initially stating no injuries were reported.

FOX59 learned the driver of the SUV, 33-year-old Tessa Ludlum, was injured in the crash. IPS Police confirmed Ludlum was the driver of the SUV.

Tessa Ludlum
Tessa Ludlum

Ludlum was listed in critical condition Monday evening at Eskenazi Hospital. She was upgraded to serious condition today. Family and friends of Ludlum told FOX59 she underwent head surgery.

"There are multiple broken bones. She has broken ribs, punctured lungs, and a skull fracture," said Sonny Willis, Ludlum's fiance.

FOX59 requested the crash report Monday and obtained a copy of it Tuesday. The report states an IPS Police officer responded to the scene just after 10 a.m. The IPS officer was informed by IMPD the driver was taken to Eskenazi due to injuries to the left side of her head, clavicle, back and hips. The driver had to be extracted from the vehicle, states the report.

According to the report, the bus driver told officers the SUV did not stop at the stop sign. However, two witnesses at the scene reported it was the opposite. A man who was driving behind the SUV told an IPS Police officer the SUV did in fact stop at the stop sign and it was the school bus that ran the stop sign before hitting the SUV. A second witness also stated they observed the school bus running the stop sign and striking the SUV.

"The people behind her said that the bus did not even break stride. Did not even put a brake on, just ran straight through her, ran over her. The woman is fighting for her life and faults regardless...you hit her," said Willis.

IPS bus driver 54-year-old Charlotte Pruitt told police it was not her fault and the facts are the other way around. Pruitt blames the crash on the other driver and says that she did fully stop at the 4-way intersection.

There were three children on board at the time of the accident, but they were not injured, said IPS.

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