A tractor-trailer owned by a New Jersey trucking company whose driver police said smelled of alcohol slammed into a school bus carrying two dozen students in Indiana on Saturday night/

Warsaw, Indiana police said they received calls about a truck speeding and swerving as it headed west on Route 30 around 8:05 p.m. As police responded to the call, the truck ran a red light and hit a school bus making a turn. The school bus was knocked onto its side.

One student was ejected from the bus.

Truck driver Victor Santos, 58, of Brooklyn, kept going and drove into a ditch less than a mile away, according to police.

NJ-based tractor trailer that struck a school bus in Warsaw, Indiana 11/12/22
NJ-based tractor trailer that struck a school bus in Warsaw, Indiana 11/12/22 (Warsaw, Indiana police)
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Police: Smell of alcohol

Santos and his truck smelled of alcohol, according to police. His speech was slurred and he failed a field sobriety test.

Santos is on a 48-hour hold after a search warrant was granted to take a blood sample. charges of operating while intoxicated, causing serious bodily injury, a level 5 felony under Indiana law that carries a prison term of up to six years.

A photo shows the truck is operated by N & V Express Trucking of Paterson. According to federal Department of Transportation records the company employs one driver and has no previous reported crashes.  A woman who answered the phone at N & V Monday morning did not speak English.

School bus struck by a NJ-based tractor trailer in Indiana after being righted.
School bus struck by a NJ-based tractor trailer in Indiana after being righted. (Warsaw, Indiana police)
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Hockey team returning from dinner

The bus was carrying 23 teenage students plus two adult coaches from the hockey team at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago. They were in the area for a tournament and were returning to their hotel after dinner. The school identified the team as members of the junior varsity team.

Police said three people on board the bus suffered "very critical" injuries and the others were examined at a hospital and released.

Warsaw, Indiana is located west of Fort Wayne in northern Indiana.

Message from St. Ignatius College Prep about its hockey team
Message from St. Ignatius College Prep about its hockey team (St. Ignatius College Prep)
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Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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