1 dead, 16 hospitalized after bus crashes on way to Columbus

WANE photo

CHURUBUSCO, IN (WANE) A person was killed and multiple more were hospitalized – one critically – when a charter bus and a small SUV collided head-on along U.S. 33 north of Churubusco Thursday morning.

Police and medics were called around 11:15 a.m. Thursday to U.S. 33 and Blue Lake Road north of Churubusco on a report of a crash. Dispatchers would only confirm “there was a bus crash” that involved “multiple vehicles and multiple injuries.”

Passengers told WANE the bus was headed to Columbus, Ohio, from Chicago, with its next scheduled stop in Fort Wayne.

A Barons Bus charter bus was left heavily damaged and off the roadway. Another vehicle – a white Lexus small SUV – could be seen on its top on the other side of the roadway. The two appeared to have hit head-on.

A source at the scene told NewsChannel 15 initially there were roughly 50 patients. NewsChannel 15 learned that an adult male – the driver of the SUV – was killed. Parkview’s Samaritan medical helicopter landed at the scene around 11:45 a.m. Duane Ginder, EMS Manager at Parkview Whitley, said it airlifted another person – the charter bus driver – away in critical condition. Sixteen others were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries, Ginder said.

Whitley County Sheriff’s Department identified the deceased man as the 86-year-old Edward Dahm. Dahm co-founded Mike’s Express Carwash with his brother Joe in 1948.

A dog was also killed, officials said.

A triage base was established at the Smith Township Fire Department.

A Barons Bus official would not comment on the crash. There were 42 people aboard.

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