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School buses, police escort traveling to circus crash on I-69

(Provided Photo/Indiana State Police)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WISH) — On the way to a circus, an elementary school student received minor injuries when two school buses and a sheriff’s patrol car, both from Grant County, collided with another car in backed-up traffic on I-69, the Indiana State Police said Friday.

The crash happened about 10:05 a.m. Friday just south of the I-69 exits for U.S. highways 24, 30 and 33; State Road 930 East; and Goshen Road. That’s on the northwest side of Fort Wayne.

A lengthy line of school buses and police escort vehicles were trying to exit I-69 when two schools buses from the Mississinewa Community Schools and the escorting Grant County Sheriff’s Office car approached backed-up traffic, state police said in a news release. One of the buses hit the other as they approached the backup, and then an approaching Chevrolet Malibu car crashed into the rear of the Grant Count patrol car.

“The two school buses sustained enough damage that they had to be towed from the scene,” the release from state police said.

The buses were traveling to the Mizpah Shrine Circus & Fair at the Allen County Memorial Coliseum. They carried 58 students in grades 4 and 5, seven adult chaperones, and the two drivers, Jennifer Moore, 33, of Marion, and Susan Hill, 63, of Fairmount.

The child was the only person injured in the crash, but all of the students were taken by “replacement buses” to the emergency room of Parkview Regional Medical Center to be medically evaluated, state police say.

The crash extended the backup from 4 to 5 miles through until about noon Friday as the crash was investigated and cleanup was done.

The state police news release concluded, “The Indiana State Police would like to publicly commend the PRMC Emergency Room medical staff, the administrators, and the public safety officers for a job well done. The professionalism and efficiency demonstrated while handling this influx of of unexpected patients into the ER was surely comforting for all the involved children. PRMC even sent them off with a bagged lunch, bottled drinks, and snacks for their bus ride home!”

The Mississinewa school district is based in Gas City, about an hour’s drive southwest of downtown Fort Wayne.