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One Dead, 17 Injured in Charter Bus Accident in Northeast Indiana

Steve Wagner

Thursday morning around 11:15 a.m. an SUV traveling on U.S. 33 northwest of Fort Wayne collided head-on with a Barons charter bus, forcing the bus off the road violently and into a ditch. The accident happened in Whitley County near Churubusco. Police say it appears the SUV sped up unexpectedly, then crossed over into the bus’s lane. Of the approximately 40 people aboard the Barons charter bus heading from Chicago to Columbus, Ohio, 17 were injured. The bus driver, Berl Shaw, incurred a broken leg, and at least one other passenger was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

The driver of the SUV, 86-year-old Edward M. Dahm, was killed in the crash. Dahm was well-known in Indianapolis and around the state as one of the co-founders of Mike Carwash, now operating in Indianapolis as Crew Carwash. Dahm’s dog also died in the accident. The investigation into the crash is ongoing, so we don’t yet know what caused Dahm to leave his lane. Officials have said it is possible he suffered a medical emergency while driving. An autopsy will determine if this was the case.

Mass Transportation Accidents More Dangerous for Other Drivers

In general, mass transportation vehicles are involved in far fewer accidents than are individual cars. That said, there are still approximately 20,000 injuries and several hundred deaths each year related to mass transit accidents. Injuries can range from bumps and bruises to soft tissue damage, broken bones, whiplash, contusions, head or internal injuries, or even death. There are risk factors that partially explain why both riders and other drivers may be more likely to be seriously injured when buses or other large mass transport vehicles are involved in an accident:

  • Risk of tip-over or rollover is higher for buses
  • Lack of safety features such as seat belts or airbags

Drivers of passenger cars hit by buses or trains are more likely to be seriously injured, due to the size of the vehicles and possible force of a collision. In this particular accident, the impact was maximized because the collision was head-on, the most deadly type of accident by all measures.

If you have been injured in a charter bus or mass transit accident, we can help. The vehicular accident lawyers at Wagner Reese have decades of experience and success working with bus accident victims to ensure they are compensated properly for the injuries sustained due to the wrongdoing of another. Call us now for a FREE initial consultation: (888) 204-8440.


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