School Buses Collide In Kosciusko County (VIDEO & PHOTOS)

By Kevin Kitt
By Eric Dutkiewicz
By Rachel Martin

May 22, 2013 Updated Dec 11, 2013 at 8:28 PM EDT

NORTH WEBSTER, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) -- A bus driver air-lifted and more than 40 people were injured Wednesday afternoon after a crash involving four school buses in Kosciusko County.

It was an alarming scene as kids jumped out of windows and parents showed up frantic.

Sgt. Chad Hill with the Kosciusko Sheriff's Department says in his 23 years on the force, he's never seen a bus accident of this magnitude.

Middle and high school had just let out, when the four Wawasee Community School buses, carrying 100-120 kids, collided near North Webster on State Road 13.

"It sounded like thunder. I honestly thought we were having a huge storm rolling through when I first heard it,” said Stephanie Gagye, who witnessed the crash.

A four bus pile-up. One, crunched, with it's front windows shattered. Police say four Wawasee Community School buses were taking kids home. When the first bus made a stop, the fourth bus in line rear-ended another, causing a chain reaction.

Kosciusko deputies say the driver of the fourth bus was air-lifted to Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne, and more than 40 others were injured.

"We had multiple ambulances arrive here, but we did have one bus load up very minor-injured students, there were so many, and then transport them to Kosciusko Community Hospital,” said Sgt. Chad Hill with the Kosciusko Sheriff’s Department.

Marcus Gagye, 9th grader, just got off at his stop, and saw the whole thing happen. "I'm like, what's going on here, this is kind of weird. It's not usual, I'm freaking out, what's going on? It was just really scary,” he said.

Marcus' mother called 911, and his father, an Ex-Marine and former Michigan sheriff's deputy, swooped in to help.

"I mean, as soon as I came up I put my hands up in the air and kids were just jumping out the window at me, and I finally got—I don’t know—I pulled maybe 15 kids out the window,” said Brian Gagye. He also pulled the injured driver out of the bus."I would say out of all the injuries I saw today, he probably sustained the most damage."

The Kosciusko Sheriff's Department says there were no deaths, and most of the injuries were minor.

"My friend text me--he was in the back of bus 44, the one that got hit by bus 28, and he said he blacked out and his buddy that was sitting next to him had a huge gash across his forehead,” said Marcus.

Officials say all uninjured kids were bussed back to Wawasee Middle School and parents were notified to pick them up there.
Kosciusko deputies don’t know what caused the crash at this point, but say they will conduct drug and alcohol testing on all four bus drivers. The investigation is ongoing.

A Wawasee Community Schools bus rear ended another bus, according to eyewitness accounts, causing a chain-reaction with
three other buses.

Helena Harrison's 13-year-old daughter Alera, a Wawasee Middle School student, was sitting next to her cousin when the crash happened.

The first bus had slowed down to drop off children, when the middle bus had collided into the back of the first, Harrison says.

Live Interview: Parent of Student On Bus

Harrison says the driver of the middle bus was severely injured, and it is believed the driver was airlifted to a local hospital.

Marcus Gagye, 15, a freshman at Wawasee High School, had just gotten off the bus when the crash happened.

Live Interview: Student Eyewitness

Gagye says multiple students on-board the bus climbed and jump through the bus windows.

Employees of Clark Marine, Special O.P.S. K-9 academy were some of the first people on the scene, helping students off the bus.

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