Truck Driver Facing 26 Counts After Crashing Into School Bus
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, a semi-truck and a school bus carrying a high school hockey team were involved in a crash on U.S. 30 in Warsaw at around 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 12, 2022. The collision occurred at the intersection of U.S. 30 and Center Street. The school bus had 26 people, including the bus driver, two coaches, and the hockey team from Ignatius College Prep. The team was heading to a hotel after the weekend tournament. While taking a left turn, the bus was struck by a semi-truck that ran a red light. The impact caused one passenger to be thrown out of the vehicle before it spun and tipped over. Students ranging in age from 14 to 17 were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment and for their parents to pick them up. Three of the students were left in critical condition, one has since been released and the other two are still in the hospital.
Police Received Calls About the Semi Truck Driving Impaired
Police were dispatched to the area after receiving calls about the accident. There were many witnesses who saw the semi-truck swerving across the highway. They claim that it traveled at speeds greater than 90 mph. A few drivers say they were forced off the road because of the close proximity of the truck. The witnesses followed behind the driver with their hazards on as they called the police. They said the driver only tapped the brakes when approaching the red light before hitting the school bus. Traffic cameras confirm the truck ran the red light.
Semi-Truck Driver Driving While Twice the Legal Limit
When police arrived, they could smell alcohol on the 58-year-old truck driver, Victor Santos, and said he was slurring his words. After Santos refused to take the DUI test at the scene, law enforcement got a warrant for a blood test, which confirmed his blood alcohol level was .13%, nearly twice the legal limit. He was charged with felony counts of causing serious bodily injury while operating a vehicle and criminal recklessness while armed with a deadly weapon, police said. According to court documents, Santos was convicted of rape in New York in 1999 and is a registered sex offender.
High School Hockey Team Injured in Crash
The hockey team from St. Ignatius College Prep had just finished competing in a tournament at the military academy and were returning to their hotel from dinner when the crash occurred. At least 16 members of the school’s hockey team were injured, three of them critically. Two of the students remain in a hospital in Fort Wayne. St. Ignatius College Prep is a private Catholic school located at 1076 Roosevelt Rd, Chicago, IL 60608. The school was founded in 1869, and the average tuition for a year is $20,250.00, with over 1475 students.
Justice For Injured Victims of Semi-Truck Accidents
Our attorney from Legal Examiner recently sat down with Jeff Gibson, an experienced semi-truck lawyer in Indiana. Jeff explained who can be held liable for injuries sustained during a semi-truck accident.
Laurence: Based on your experience representing injured victims in Indiana, are there legal safety regulations involving a commercial truck?
Jeff: Per the law, a trucking company is bound to offer a duty of care to the other people traveling on the highways. They can uphold this by properly maintaining their fleet of semi-trucks or ensuring their contract drivers are doing so on their end. This includes tire and brake checks as well as routine engine maintenance. They also must make sure each driver is up to date on all licensing and certifications necessary for each type of truck.
Laurence: Are truck drivers held to the same state blood alcohol limits?
Jeff: The BAC limit for truck drivers is actually lower than the BAC limit for other drivers. Truck drivers are often subject to random drug and alcohol screenings to maintain their licenses. There are ways for drivers to drive impaired despite the regulations. The effects of prescription and over-the-counter drugs can be similar to those of alcohol and illegal drugs.
Laurence: In the event of an accident involving an impaired truck driver, who can be held liable for damages?
Jeff: Aside from charges being brought against the driver themself, other parties may be held accountable. Such as if the trucking company failed to perform random testing or knew of previous incidents by the driver, they could be held liable. An experienced semi-truck attorney will need to prove the defendant failed to provide a duty of care and is liable for the injuries. However, many times compensation is awarded to injured victims in cases of negligence.
If you have been injured in a crash involving a semi-truck, an experienced semi-truck lawyer can help you get the justice you deserve. Contact us to be put in touch with an auto accident lawyer today.
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