MARSHALL COUNTY, Ind. — A truck driver involved in a collision with a school bus that killed a student will not face any criminal charges.

As previously reported, on Dec. 5, a bus taking students to see “Elf the Musical” in Warsaw had stopped at a railroad crossing when it was rear-ended by a truck that was towing a trailer, driven by 26-year-old Tylor Perry. The student who was killed was identified as Owen Abbott, 13, WSBT reports.

Matt Sarber, the deputy prosecutor for the Marshall County Prosecutor's Office, told WSBT that the grand jury overseeing the case decided that Perry’s actions did not fit the legal definition of recklessness and no charges would be filed against him.

SBF reported in January that in the crash report for the collision Perry told police that as he approached the railroad tracks, he pulled a sweatshirt and fleece jacket that he was wearing over his head and briefly took his eyes off the road. When he looked back at the road, he braked hard and tried to swerve left to avoid the bus, but wasn’t able to do so.

Sarber told WSBT that while the Marshall County Prosecutor’s Office does not condone or accept Perry’s behavior, he did not consciously disregard potential harm and his actions did not go beyond acceptable standards of driving conduct. Sarber added that the community should continue discussing the issue and consider updating its standards for how school buses might come to a stop “on a lane like this, potentially tweaking the standard.”

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Sadiah Thompson

Sadiah Thompson

Assistant Editor

Sadiah Thompson is an assistant editor at School Bus Fleet magazine.

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