Student killed in school bus crash on US31 in Marshall County

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ind. -- A student died in a collision between a school bus and a truck Wednesday morning on US 31 between Plymouth and Argos in the northbound lanes.

The boy's mother confirmed to ABC57 that the victim is eighth grader Owen Abbott. Police say he was sitting in the rear left side of the bus. Abbott died at the scene. 

The crash happened at 9:06 a.m. at the railroad tracks, just north of SR 10.

Indiana State Police said the bus stopped at the railroad crossing just south of Michigan Road and had started moving again when the bus was rear ended.

“We are at a railroad crossing so buses do stop, so what was going on with the driver of the straight truck at this point, I don’t know and I don’t want to make any assumptions at this point," said Sergeant Ted Bohner of the Indiana State Police.

The Eastern Pulaski schools bus, driven by 46-year-old Cheryl Warner of Winamac, had 38 eighth grade students from Winamac Community Middle School and three chaperones on it at the time. They were headed to Warsaw to see Elf the Musical.

The large truck that struck the bus was driven by 26-year-old Tylor Perry of Camby, Indiana, police said.

Another student, 14-year-old Zane Bell, was airlifted to Memorial Hospital in South Bend.

Other students were taken to the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Plymouth to be checked out and reunited with their parents.

Family members of one student on the bus, who was stuck between two crushed seats, had to pull her hair from a piece of the truck involved in the crash.

"Here in this area we just had some just tragic, tragic stories here of late involving school busses and it's heart breaking," said Sergeant Bohner.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. Weather is not believed to be a factor.

Toxicology is pending for both drivers, which is required by law for crashes involving a fatality.

All lanes of US 31 reopened at 4:30 p.m.

Just before 7p.m. the Superintendent of the Eastern Pulaski School Corporation released a statement

"As you are aware, our school corporation has suffered a tragedy today as there was one confirmed fatality as a result of the bus accident this morning. As the name of that individual has not been publicly released, we have chosen to not publish the name at this time. We are thankful that all the other students, including the student airlifted from the scene, as well as the bus driver, have been released from the hospital… As we ask the community to come together to pray for the families, our students and our staff during this difficult time, we also request that you respect the family of the deceased student and allow them time to process their loss.” Dan L. Foster, Superintendent

A spokesperson for National Rent-a-Fence/National Construction Rentals confirmed one of their vehicles was involved in the crash.

The company says they are cooperating with the police investigation into the crash and are conducting their own internal investigation

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