Student killed in school bus and truck crash, others injured

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ARGOS, Ind. (WTHR) - A teenage boy was killed in a crash involving a school bus in Marshall County Wednesday.

The crash happened just after 9 a.m. on U.S. 31 north of Argos.

Police say the preliminary investigation shows a school bus from Eastern Pulaski Schools with 38 eighth-grade students on board stopped at a railroad crossing, as required by law. As the bus began to accelerate, it was struck from behind by a Freightliner straight truck, which was towing a trailer.

The driver of the truck was identified as 26-year-old Tylor Perry of Camby.

A male student, identified as 13-year-old Owen Abbott, who was sitting in the left rear of the bus died at the scene of the crash. A second student, identified as 14-year-old Zane Bell, was taken by helicopter to Memorial Hospital in South Bend to be treated for injuries and was later released.

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

A parent told WNDU-TV the students were from Winamac Community Middle School. They were headed to see "Elf the Musical" at the Wagon Wheel Theatre in Warsaw.

Superintendent Dan Foster said in a release Wednesday the school district had counselors on hand throughout the day and they will return Thursday to assist students, staff and parents who need them.

"We may need to help each other deal with some confused feelings. A first reaction may be to feel upset, saddened, shocked, angry, frustrated or even just numb," Foster wrote. "It is important to remember that each of us may react and grieve differently and that it is important to respect each person's reactions."

A GoFundMe account has been created to help Abbott's parents with expenses incurred by the tragedy.

Police said another tragedy involving a school bus in northern Indiana should serve as a reminder to drivers.

"Here in this area we've had just tragic, tragic stories here of late involving school buses and it's heartbreaking. We just need to pay attention, we need to be cautious...so this doesn't happen," said Indiana State Police Sgt. Ted Bohner.

Toxicology results are pending for both drivers. State police do not believe weather was a factor in the crash.

"My thoughts right now, I'm thinking about the parents. I was actually at the bus stop with my 7-year-old when I got the call about this crash. You know, as a parent, it just breaks your heart there's a lot of parents wondering if it was their student," said Bohner.