MARSHALL COUNTY, Ind. — A truck driver involved in a collision with a school bus in December that killed a student said in the crash report that he was trying to remove a sweatshirt and jacket before the incident.
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 Tylor Perry. The student who was killed was identified as Owen Abbott, 13, WNDU reports.
In the crash report narrative, obtained by WNDU, Perry, who is identified as Driver 1, 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.
A passenger in the truck with Perry, identified as Witness 5, told police in the crash report that he saw Perry attempting to take off the fleece jacket and then went back to reading his phone. Just minutes later, he stated that he looked up and saw the school bus, identified as Vehicle 2, at the railroad tracks, but that he did not see the hazard lights on the bus.
The school bus driver, identified in the report as Driver 2, stated that she was following another bus and came to a stop behind that bus as it stopped for the railroad tracks. Driver 2 added that she came to a complete stop, put on her 4-way flashers, and opened the door to listen for a train. She stated in the report that she wasn’t certain whether she started accelerating before the crash.
Other witnesses gave accounts in the report that indicated that the truck hadn’t slowed down while approaching the bus, and applied the brakes too late.
Perry was not cited at the scene of the crash, but the report was sent to the Marshall County Prosecutor’s Office for review. Prosecutors told ABC 57 that Perry could be charged “in the near future.”