Chicago Sun-Times has reported a crash along U.S. 30 in Warsaw involving a semi-truck and a bus carrying students from St. Ignatius College Prep located at 1076 Roosevelt Rd, Chicago, IL 60608.
The crash happened at around 8 p.m. Saturday, November 12, 2022, at U.S. 30 and Center Street intersection in Warsaw, Indiana. The school bus carried 26 people, including two coaches, the bus driver, and the St. Ignatius College Prep hockey team. They were heading to a Warsaw hotel after having dinner following a hockey tournament. While taking a left turn with a green light, the bus was struck by the semi-truck that ran a red light. The crash caused one of the passengers to be ejected from the vehicle as it spun and tipped over. All the students were taken to a nearby hospital and ranged in age from 14 to 17. Sixteen of the passengers were injured, including two still at the hospital.
Police were en route to the area after receiving calls before the accident. Many witnesses had seen the semi-truck swerving across a highway. In addition, they say it was traveling at speeds greater than 90 mph. A few drivers say they were forced off the road due to the truck passing them so closely. Witnesses that followed behind the driver with their flashing lights say the driver only momentarily tapped the brakes when approaching the school bus.
When police arrived, they could smell alcohol on him, and after he refused a sobriety test at the scene, they got a warrant for a blood test. The truck driver, Victor Santos, had a blood alcohol level of .13%, nearly twice the legal limit in Indiana. Santos is facing four counts of causing serious bodily injury while operating a vehicle and 22 counts of criminal recklessness, all while armed with a deadly weapon.
Attorney contributor Jeff Gibson is an experienced truck accident lawyer in Indiana. Jeff recently discussed the legal options available for victims injured in semi-truck accidents.
"The number of accidents involving commercial trucks is on the rise. There are many reasons why the federal government regulates the trucking industry and why truck drivers have a higher duty of care for other vehicles on the highways. This increased duty of care includes requiring truck drivers to obtain a special license to drive commercial trucks. Semi-truck drivers are required to carry more liability coverage in order to compensate others for injuries."
"Furthermore, a semi-truck driver must have random drug and alcohol screenings to maintain their commercial driver's license. They can be considered intoxicated at a lower blood alcohol limit than the state law. Unfortunately, many truck drivers still find ways to drive impaired. This can lead to severe risk for other passenger vehicles on the roadways."
"When a truck accident victim is injured, an experienced truck accident attorney can help them get the compensation they deserve. Federal regulations governing the trucking industry mean that your attorney will need to review a lot of evidence to prove your claim. They will also ensure victims receive the maximum for their injuries."