Woman who helped injured children in Warsaw bus crash thankful for first aid training she received

Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 6:27 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Kelly Deacon says she’s grateful for training she received earlier this year after Saturday night’s crash in Warsaw involving a school bus and a semi.

She says she was working at a nearby business when she heard a loud noise and immediately knew something was wrong.

“Initially I thought it was an overturned trailer and my son who was with me said ‘no, that’s a school bus,’” Deacon said.

It was at that moment Deacon says she knew she had to step in. Deacon says she ran as fast as she could. When she got outside, Deacon -- who’s a mom herself -- says it was a sight no parent ever wants to see.

Warsaw police say the bus had 23 students and two adult coaches from the St. Ignatius College Prep hockey team from Chicago on board when it was hit by a semi at U.S. 30 and Center Street. Police took the driver of that semi, Victor Santos of Brooklyn, New York, into custody for drinking and driving. 16 students were hurt and three of them had life-threatening injuries. Their conditions have since improved.

“The first thing I said was ‘I’m trained in first aid and CPR,’ and there was somebody who raised his hand and said ‘this one was ejected,’” Deacon said.

Deacon says it’s training she thought she’d never have to use and she says you need to be ready in case you’re in a similar situation.

“If you’re going to get the training, get the tools and keep them in your car,” Deacon said. “I brought in one of my kits, it’s got the ‘shock blanket’ -- something to keep people warm -- it was cold that night.”

As for the students on that bus, Deacon said she’s hopeful they’ll all make a full recovery.

A spokes person for St. Ignatius said one of the critically hurt students was released from the hospital. The other two are expected to be released sometime this week.