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St. Ignatius Hockey Players, Parents, Coaches Sue Truck Driver After Bus Crash

The Hockey News 11/29/2022 Ian Kennedy

Parents recalled rushing to hospital to see their children after a semi-truck crashed with a bus carrying members of a junior varsity college prep hockey team.

Courtesy of Cavanagh Law Group © Provided by The Hockey News Courtesy of Cavanagh Law Group

Sixteen members of the St. Ignatius College Prep junior varsity hockey team, alongside their parents and two coaches, have filed a lawsuit against the truck driver and three trucking companies following a collision with the hockey team’s bus earlier this month.

The suit, filed by Cavanagh Law Group, names the truck driver, Victor Santos, and trucking companies N&V Trucking Express, B&W Cartage Company Inc., B&W Cartage Inc. and B&W Cartage International Inc. as defendants.

Following the crash in Indiana, Santos was charged with 22 felony counts of criminal recklessness while armed with a deadly weapon and four counts of causing serious bodily injury while operating a vehicle, according to Warsaw Police Department.

Santos' blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit in Indiana at the time of the crash at .13 percent, police reported.

“The complaint accuses the defendants of negligence and willful and wanton disregard for the safety of the players and coaches aboard the bus,” Cavanagh Law Group said in a media advisory.

All 23 members of the St. Ignatius hockey team and two coaches were transported to local hospitals following the crash, with 16 injured, including three players being placed in critical condition following the crash.

According to Cavanagh Law Group's advisory, “Santos was also previously charged in Indiana with failure to comply with federal motor carrier safety regulations and failure to register under the unified carrier registration system.”

Eileen Murphy is a parent of one of the students on the bus.

“As a child, everyone’s been on a school bus,” Murphy said at a press conference on Tuesday. “As a parent, you’ve sent your kids on field trips, you’ve sent them to tournaments, you think that your child is going to be safe… We just assumed they were going to be safe, and unfortunately, this happened.

“There needs to be accountability in this. That man should never have been able to drive a semi truck and hit our school bus.”

The players on the St. Ignatius Wolfpack junior varsity team at the hotel before a tournament. Courtesy of Cavanagh Law Group © Provided by The Hockey News The players on the St. Ignatius Wolfpack junior varsity team at the hotel before a tournament. Courtesy of Cavanagh Law Group

Many of the St. Ignatius players are still recovering from the injuries incurred from the crash, both physically and mentally.

Karl D’Cunha, the father of one of those players, recalled receiving a phone call from his son during a team parents' dinner.

“He said, 'Dad, we’ve been hit by a truck; a lot of people are hurt,' ” D'Cunha said.

“Which parent ever wants to hear that phone call?”

He also remembered rushing to the hospital, where he saw most of the team members in the emergency room.

“It was like a war zone; you’ve got these boys who are crying and shaking,” he said.

D’Cunha said his son recalled a teammate covered in blood and screaming, “I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die.”

As parents and lawyers said, the journey of healing for players involved in the crash is just beginning. 

Through their lawsuit, the families are seeking, as D’Cunha said, “what is best” for their children. They said that includes a hefty prison sentence for the driver of the semi-truck, whose charges have not yet been proven in court.

“We want this guy put away for a long time,” D’Cunha said.

St. Ignatius College Prep is a private school located in Chicago, Ill. The school was founded in 1869, with the hockey program currently playing in the Chicago Catholic Hockey League (CCHL). St. Ignatius is currently the reigning league champions.

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