Three teenagers were critically injured Saturday when a tractor-trailer slammed into the school bus in which the St. Ignatius College Prep high school hockey team was riding.
The players from the Chicago-area school were en route to a tournament and were heading to a Warsaw, Indiana, hotel after having dinner in the town, according to WEHT-TV.
The bus had 26 adults and teens on it at the time of the crash. Overall, 13 people were hurt. The ages of the students on the bus ranged from 14 to 17.
One student was ejected from the bus by the impact, according to a Facebook post by the Warsaw Police Department.
Three teenagers were critically hurt in Warsaw, Indiana after an intoxicated semi-driver hit a hockey team’s school bus Saturday evening, police say. https://t.co/47DRSfg6wr
— FOX59 News (@FOX59) November 13, 2022
The post said police were in pursuit of the tractor-trailer after receiving reports that it was swerving and at one point had left the roadway.
Police said the truck continued after it struck the bus until it came to rest in a ditch.
“Confirming with eyewitnesses and a nearby surveillance camera, the semi driver disregarded a red light by several seconds before striking the bus during its turn,” the post said, noting the bus was hit in the right rear area.
Upon contacting the semi driver, officers had reason to suspect ”alcohol was a factor in this collision. They detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and in the cab of the semi, as well as slurred speech,” the post said.
The semi-truck driver involved in the St. Ignatius school bus crash in Warsaw, Indiana has been taken into custody upon reports of driving while intoxicated
— WGN TV News (@WGNNews) November 13, 2022
“After failing standardized field sobriety tests, the driver was asked to consent to a chemical test but refused. A search warrant was applied for and granted, allowing officers to have hospital staff take a blood draw, which will be submitted for official testing,” the post said.
The driver was identified as Victor Santos, 58, of Brooklyn, New York.
Police said Santos was operating a truck registered in New Jersey.
The Warsaw police post said Santos was being held pending “formal charges pertaining to Operating While Intoxicated, Causing Serious Bodily Injury, a level 5 felony.”
Three members of a Chicago prep school hockey team were critically hurt in a crash Saturday in Warsaw.
The driver of the semi that struck the bus is suspected of drunk driving. https://t.co/CfqyJckH3s
— WTHR.com (@WTHRcom) November 13, 2022
The team’s coaches said the other two students were “smiling and communicating,” after being treated, she said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.