Following several hours of investigation, the Indiana State Police have released additional information about the fatal accident involving an Eastern Pulaski Community School bus that occurred on U.S. 31 Wednesday morning. The collision reportedly claimed the life of a teenage boy.
At the time of the crash, the bus was occupied by 38 eighth grade students and three chaperones that were on the way to see a Christmas musical in Warsaw.
According to authorities, shortly after 9 a.m., on December 5th, Indiana State Troopers and Marshall County Deputies responded to calls of a crash between a school bus and a truck on northbound U.S. 31, just north of Argos.
The preliminary investigation conducted by ISP Trooper David Caswell indicates that a yellow 2016 International bus being driven by 54-year-old Cheryl Warner, of Winamac, had just stopped, as required by law, at the railroad crossing just south of Michigan Road.
Apparently, as the bus began to accelerate it was struck from behind in the left rear by a white 2016 Freightliner straight truck. The truck, which was towing a trailer, was being driven by 26-year-old Tylor Perry, of Camby. Weather is not believed to have been a factor at the time of the crash.
Police say that a male teenage student seated in the left rear of the bus was pronounced deceased at the scene by Marshall County Coroner John Grolich.
His name was not included in the initial press release. However, Coroner Grolich is expected to release the name of the student pending positive identification and the notification of next of kin.
Another student, 14-year-old Zane Bell, was airlifted from the scene and taken to Memorial Hospital in South Bend. Bell’s injuries are believed to be non-life-threatening.
Other students were taken to Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center in Plymouth for complaints of pain and to be reunited with their families.
Toxicology results are pending for both drivers, which is required by law for vehicle operators involved in serious injury or fatal crashes. Weather is not believed to have been a factor at the time of the crash.
As of 3:35 p.m. ET, the northbound lanes on U.S. 31 were still closed for crash reconstruction and removal of the vehicles.
ISP was assisted at the scene by the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, Marshall County Coroner’s Office, Med Flight, Argos Police Department, INDOT, Plymouth EMS and Plymouth Fire.