CHICAGO (WLS) — The families of the Saint Ignatius hockey team members involved in a serious accident are suing the truck driver charged in the incident.
At least 16 members of the team were injured in the crash, three of them critical, in Warsaw, Indiana, on Nov. 12.
The lawsuit names the truck driver, Victor Santos, and several trucking companies as defendants. The complaint accuses them of negligence and willful and willful disregard for the safety of the players and coaches on the bus.
On Tuesday morning, some of the injured hockey players’ parents spoke out, including Wendy Cook, whose 15-year-old son, Alex, suffered facial fractures, a concussion and a seizure.
“Mom, it’s really bad, it’s really bad,” said parent Wendy Cook. “And to hear that coming from a 14 to 15 year old boy was so hard to hear. Myself and another mom didn’t know if our boys were alive.”
“He said, ‘Dad, we got hit by a truck. A lot of people are hurt,'” said elder Karl D’Cunha. “It was like a war zone. You have those boys who cried and trembled.”
The junior varsity hockey team was returning to their hotel after a hockey tournament in Indiana when a semi truck ran a red light and the bus flipped onto its side.
Authorities say the truck driver, Santos, was traveling at more than 90 miles per hour and had a blood alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit.
“What responsible transport company would let this man drive? We’re going to find answers to that,” said Tim Cavanagh of Cavanagh Law Group.
Families of the 16 injured students and their two coaches filed a three-way lawsuit on Tuesday saying Santos, a registered sex offender who was charged with multiple felonies and had previous safety citations, should never have been on the road
“I would never want to see that man out of prison again, and I would never want to see him behind the wheel of a vehicle again,” said parent Eileen Murphy.
With one student still in the hospital, many players are suffering broken bones, ribs, skull fractures and other head injuries with months of recovery ahead. The emotional trauma, parents say, will last forever.
“He said, ‘Dad, LJ was covered in blood and screaming, ‘I’m dying, I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die,'” D’Cunha said. “Weeks from now, if he has to relive that memory, what do you say?”
ABC7 has contacted the transport companies, but has not yet received a response.
Meanwhile, several students are still not well enough to go back to school and one student remains in the hospital.
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