WARSAW, Ind. — The driver of a semi-truck that hit a school bus in northern Indiana is facing more than two dozen charges.
Victor Santos, of Brooklyn, New York, is facing 26 charges including operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury and criminal recklessness.
13News has also learned Santos is a sexually violent offender and is a registered sex offender. He was also charged in Indiana previously with failure to comply with federal motor carrier safety regulations and failure to register under the unified carrier registration system.
The crash with the school bus happened Saturday night. Dispatchers were notified just after 8 p.m. of a semi-truck swerving into other lanes and driving at excessive speeds. The truck was also reportedly driving off the road as it entered Warsaw on U.S. 30.
Police said two minutes later, as officers were on their way to stop the truck, they were told the semi had hit a school bus at U.S. 30 and Center Street and the bus was flipped on its side. The semi driver continued west and stopped off the road and into a ditch about an eighth of a mile from the intersection.
Investigators believe at least one student was ejected from the bus when the semi-truck hit it from behind.
First responders rushed to the area and began attending to multiple injuries ranging from critical to minor.
The school bus was carrying members of Chicago's Saint Ignatius College Prep's hockey team when it crashed. The team was returning to their hotel after a game against Culver Academies.
There were 23 players between the ages of 14 and 17 on the bus, with the majority of those players being 15 years old. There were also two adult coaches and the bus driver on the bus.
A total of 13 students were injured in the crash. Two students were sent to Fort Wayne Lutheran Hospital with critical injuries. Another critically injured student was taken to Lutheran Kosciusko County.
The remaining players, coaches and the bus driver were taken by a bus, provided by Warsaw Community Schools, to Lutheran Kosciusko County.
Warsaw officers were assigned to the hospital to assist with triage and notification of family for the minors.
Since the crash, school leaders said two of the teens' conditions have stabilized and one is now out of the hospital.
"Seeing the images was tough, but me and my team are all very thankful that everyone is doing better now," one student said Monday.
When police first talked to Santos after the crash, he said the school bus had pulled out in front of him. When he was asked to step out of the truck, police said Santos stumbled and they smelled alcohol on his breath. Police claim Santos failed a field sobriety test and refused to take a chemical test at the scene.
During his booking, court documents claim Santos took a breathalyzer test and it came back at .13% when the legal limit is .08%.
Witnesses told police that Santos' truck nearly ran them off the road at one point and that, as they followed, it hit speeds of 80 to 85 mph on U.S. 30. They said they saw it run a red light and hit the school bus without slowing down or trying to swerve.
Police were able to determine the school bus had a green arrow and the semi had a red light.