US: 4 School buses crash in North Webster, Indiana, leaving 55 injured (inc 52 students) – 230513 1345z

A school bus slammed into the back of another one Wednesday afternoon, setting off a chain-reaction crash involving four buses in northern Indiana, leaving about 50 middle and high students with non-serious injuries and one driver seriously injured.

More than 50 hurt when Indiana school buses crash

(Photo: Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department) Crash Involving Four Wawasee Buses Injures Over 50 Students 23 May 2013

The crash injured 55 people, including three of the four bus drivers, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Chad Hill said. One of the drivers was taken by helicopter to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne.

A doctor at the scene told school officials the driver’s injuries appeared not to be critical, Hill said. He said more than 100 students from Wawasee School Corp. were on the buses when the accident occurred about a mile north of North Webster, which is about 40 miles west of Fort Wayne.

The exact cause of the accident that happened about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday likely won’t be released for days because the buses need to be inspected for any mechanical problems, Hill said.

Most of the injured went to Kosciusko Community Hospital in Warsaw, where spokeswoman Joy Lohse said 43 of the patients first to arrive were not in serious or critical condition. Lohse said she didn’t have any additional information, including how many of the patients were students or their exact conditions. Hill said the number of injured there rose as the evening went on because of walk-ins or students brought in by their parents after first going home. A nursing supervisor at IU Health Goshen Hospital in Goshen said four students being treated there were in good condition.

Photos from the scene showed the bus in the back of the collision had heavy damage to the front end, with the hood of the vehicle lying in the road. The bus in front of it had a deep dent in the back. The damage to the other two vehicles was not as visible. Hill said the accident apparently occurred when the bus at the front apparently stopped to let a student off. Children who were not injured were taken by another bus to Wawasee Middle School where they were picked up by their parents, Hill said.
Thursday, 23 May, 2013 at 05:16 UTC RSOE

May 22 Kosciusko County Bus Crash Photo #3

(Photo: Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department) Crash Involving Four Wawasee Buses Injures Over 50 Students 23 May 2013

Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department Statement

May 22, 2013

Over 50 students were injured in a crash today that involved four school buses in northern Kosciusko County.

Kosciusko County Sheriffs Deputies and emergency personnel responded today at 3:30 p.m. to a 9-1-1 report of a vehicular crash involving three school buses just north of the town of North Webster, Indiana, on State Road 13. The first arriving emergency personnel found that four school buses from the Wawasee School Corporation were actually involved, with numerous children located in an adjacent field beside the highway. Members of the North Webster E.M.S. and Fire Department began a massive triage to evaluate the over one hundred children and calm the chaotic scene. Ambulances from North Webster, Syracuse, and Warsaw were assembled to transport the injured to both IU/Goshen Hospital and the Kosciusko Community Hospital, Warsaw. Of the four school bus drivers, three were injured, with one being airlifted from the scene and taken to Parkview Regional Medical Center with serious injuries. Multiple Wawasee School Corporations officials arrived at the scene, including the Wawasee School Superintendent Tom Edington. A large group of students with minor injuries were transported by a separate empty school bus with police escort to K.C.H. for evaluation.

Kosciusko County F.A.C.T./crash investigation team members stated that preliminary investigations into the crash indicate that all four buses had been southbound on State Road 13 with students from both Wawasee Middle and High School ranging from grades 6th through 12th. The lead bus had stopped to unload a student in the 7400 block when within moments, a chain reaction effect occurred as the rear bus impacted another. Members of the Indiana State Police are currently assisting the Kosciusko County Sheriffs Department and F.A.C.T. with troopers from the Commercial Vehicle Section to determine if the crash was a result of human or mechanical error, but have stated that the final conclusion may take several days. The driver of the rear school bus was currently listed in fair to serious conditional and was currently undergoing surgery. None of the bus drivers names are currently being release from by law enforcement at this time. All bus drivers involved will have drug & alcohol testing performed as compliant to their commercial drivers license requirements and procedures. Investigators also stated that the number of injured students has expanded from directly after the initial crash and may potentially increase this evening or possibly tomorrow after parents evaluate their children at home.

 

 

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