Investigation Into Chain-Reaction School Bus Crash Complete (VIDEOS & PHOTOS)

By Emma Koch - 21Alive

June 11, 2013 Updated Dec 11, 2013 at 7:28 PM EST

KOSCIUSKO COUNTY, Ind. (21Alive) -- Detectives in Kosciusko County have completed their investigation into what caused a chain-reaction school bus crash in Wawasee in May.

The report says the driver of the last bus in line was following too closely and didn't notice that the three in front of him had stopped to let off a child. 54 children were treated at the hospital as a result of the crash.

Tests for alcohol and drugs came back negative and no charged are expected to be filed. No word yet if the driver will be back on the road this school year.

July Report:
Indiana State Police have inspected all four Wawase Community School Buses involved in the chain reaction crash last month.

Indiana State Police have found no mechanical or electrical problems with the buses. Toxicology reports for drivers in buses one, two and three came back clear in June. In July, we learned that the 4th driver's toxicology results also came back negative for alcohol.

Investigators are still waiting on results of a drug screening.

Police are trying to determine if that driver was distracted.

Report from May 23: The number of injured students is now at least 80 after four school buses crashed into one another in Kosciusko County. The crash happened on State Road 13 in North Webster Wednesday afternoon.

It’s a scene the school district’s superintendent hoped to never see.

"This truly was a tragic one, to have four buses and that many students involved,” said Dr. Tom Eddington, Wawasee Community Schools.

The crash happened after one of the school buses was stopped to let off a child. There were two other buses behind it. That's when a fourth bus crashed into the third, triggering a chain reaction.

We know at least 50 students were taken to the hospital from the crash scene. Another 30 were treated for minor injuries. But the bus driver in the fourth bus had to be air lifted to Fort Wayne, and underwent emergency surgery.

The Wawasee School Superintendent says he spent Wednesday night at the hospitals visiting many of the children who were hurt.

"We were just there to reassure, and let them know we were thinking about them. We listened more than we talked, the students had been through an experience,” said Eddington.

Dr. Eddington describes his ten minute drive to the scene of the school bus crash as the longest ten minutes of his day. But says once he arrived the outpouring of support from the community gave him relief.

"I've had so many reassuring e-mails from community members and parents who have said we're such a great community, we saw the people come together. There is just a sense in this community that things are ok, and will be,” said Eddington.

Investigators say they know the fourth bus caused the crash but still the question remains, why did that fourth bus not stop?

"There's a lot of loose, different factors that have to come together before we can actually have a complete confirmation on exactly what happened. I think we have some speculatory information and stuff that they're working on, at this point in time they can't speak about. But it could be a substantial amount of time before we actually have a complete and formal ruling on actually what occurred,” said F./Sgt. Chad Hill, Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department.

Sgt. Hill expects the investigation to be complete in about two weeks.




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