Truck driver charged after crash injures hockey players

IL file photo

A New York truck driver faces more than two dozen felony charges following a weekend collision in northern Indiana between his semitrailer and a Chicago youth hockey team’s bus that injured 16 of the student athletes, authorities said.

Victor Santos, 58, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged in Kosciusko County with four counts of causing serious bodily injury while operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and 22 counts of criminal recklessness while armed with a deadly weapon, the Warsaw Police Department said Monday.

Warsaw Police Capt. Brad Kellar said authorities are “recognizing the operation of a semi-tractor trailer in this manner as the deadly weapon.”

Santos faces one count for each of the 26 people who were on the bus carrying hockey players and coaches from Chicago’s Saint Ignatius College Prep when Saturday night’s crash occurred in Warsaw.

Online court records do not list an attorney who could speak on behalf of Santos, who is scheduled for an initial court hearing Thursday.

The junior varsity youth hockey team was playing in a tournament in nearby Culver when the semitrailer driven by Santos collided with the team bus, which flipped onto its side, injuring 16 student members of the hockey team.

Two of the hockey players remained hospitalized Monday, while the remaining 14 players had been treated and released, school officials said.

“There’s going to be a long road to recovery,” Saint Ignatius’ hockey director and varsity head coach Spencer Montgomery told reporters Monday, the Chicago Tribune reported.

At the time of the crash, the hockey team was headed to a hotel after having dinner in Warsaw, located about 120 miles southeast of Chicago, police said.

The bus was carrying the driver, two coaches and 23 students who ranged in ages from 14 to 17 years old, police have said.

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