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Boy Killed in Bus Crash ID'd, State Police Urge Caution

One state trooper was at the bus stop with his own kid when he got the call to come to the Marshall County wreck.

WINAMAC, Ind.--A truck that was towing a trailer hit a school bus Wednesday morning in Marshall County, killing a student who was sitting in the back of the bus. Wednesday night he was identified as Owen Abbott, 13, of Winamac. Zayne Bell, 14, another student, was airlifted to a South Bend hospital with a concussion.

Twenty-two other students were taken to a hospital in Plymouth to be checked out. They were later released. Thirty-eight people were on board the bus when it was hit from the rear as it pulled away from a railroad crossing, where the driver, Cheryl Warner of Winamac, has just stopped, per state law.

The students were from Winamac Community Middle School, and were on the way to Warsaw to see a play when the wreck happened about 9:15.

"Here in this area we've just had some tragic stories of late involving school buses," said Sgt. Ted Boehner, Indiana State Police, in a news conference where the crash happened. "It's heart-breaking. We need to pay attention. We need to be cautious so this doesn't happen."

Police drew blood from both the driver of the tow rig, Tylor Perry, of Camby, and the driver of the bus, Cheryl Warner, of Winamac. It's standard procedure to test for drunk or drugged driving.

State Police had not determined why the trailer hit the bus.

Classes were expected to be held at Winamac Community Middle School, said Pulaski County Schools. Pastors were expected to be there to help the kids.

"My heart is full of sorrow at the tragic loss of a student in the school bus crash in Marshall County. May God comfort the victim’s family in this difficult time. I am praying for them, for the recovery of the injured student, and for the strength of our community," said Rep. Jackie Walorski, in a Tweet.

Boehner said he was at the bus stop with his own child when he got the call to come to the wreck.

"I'm thinking about the parents. As a parent it breaks your heart," he said.


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