Police release name of teenage boy who died in school bus crash on U.S. 31

Owen Abbott // Photo provided by family

BREAKING UPDATE: The name of the teenage boy who died in the bus crash today has been released: thirteen-year-old Owen Abbott. The coroner says he was pronounced dead at the scene, and his official cause of death is blunt force trauma to the head.


Police released the name of the driver of the truck that hit a school bus on U.S. 31 this morning. 26-year-old Tylor Perry hit the bus as it began to accelerate after stopping at the rail crossing. The bus was on its way to see a Christmas musical in Warsaw.

The bus driver is 54-year-old Cheryl Warner.

The 14-year-old student airlifted to the hospital is Zayne Bell. Thankfully, police say Bell sustained non-life threatening injuries.

A flatbed truck rear ended the bus on U.S. 31 near Argos this morning. Police say they don't know if weather was a factor in the crash.

INDOT says all lanes of U.S. 31 have been reopened, as of 4:30 p.m.

One child was airlifted to a hospital in South Bend with what police believe are non life-threatening injuries. The other children were taken to St Joseph Hospital in Marshall County to be reunited with their parents.

Officials say all of the students treated at Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center in Plymouth have now been released, as of 3:15 p.m. They treated 22 of the students involved in the bus accident this morning.

It was a chaotic scene as they tried to figure out who everyone was after the accident.

There were four state police cars and two school buses in the hospital parking lot when WSBT arrived this morning.

Parents were seen pulling in and picking up their children, and hospital officials told us doctors were extremely busy treating the students.

Police confirm that there were 38 students on the bus, as well as three chaperones and a bus driver. The students are in eighth grade and go to Winamac Community Middle School, according to police.

The bus was on its way to see a Christmas musical in Warsaw.

“[I] was actually at the bus stop with my 7-year-old when I got the call about this crash,” said Sgt. Ted Bohner, ISP. “As a parent it breaks your heart because there’s a lot of parents wondering if it was their student. Notification has been made so for the parents out there, we’re working on reunification. Unfortunately the student that is deceased, his parents have just been notified.”

The crash happened next to a rail crossing and police say buses are required to stop; they say it had already stopped, closed its doors and was moving forward again.

Officials are still investigating what the driver of the flatbed was doing before the crash.

The Marshall County Prosecutor says it’s too soon to say if the driver of the flatbed, 26-year-old Tylor Perry, will face any charges.

Everything is still under investigation.

People gathered at the Winamac Nazarene Church Wednesday night for a place to pray for the family of the boy who died and those who were hurt.

The community is really struggling with the loss.

They've been seeking out the church for a place to gather their thoughts after the tragedy this morning.

Earlier today, WSBT went to the school the boy attended.

The Eastern Pulaski School Corporation will be releasing a statement shortly about the tragic death of one of their students.

People here say they just can't come to terms with the death of one of their own.

“It’s terrible,” said Vickie Kaczmarek, whose five kids went through school system. “You don’t think you see things, you think buses don’t really go anywhere, but this was a field trip.”

“It’s just heartbreaking, heartbreaking for the whole community,” said Michelle Parks, grandmother of kids that go to Pulaski. “You wonder about your own children and grandkids.”

Representative Jackie Walorki tweeted Wednesday in response to the crash:

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