By Nicole Minier
CHURUBUSCO — Seventeen people were injured and a Fort Wayne man was killed in a bus-versus-sport utility vehicle crash on U.S. 33 Thursday near Churubusco.
Edward M. Dahm, the driver of the SUV, was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver of the bus was airlifted to a hospital in critical condition. A dog also was killed in the crash.
The driver of the bus, whose name had not been released, suffered a broken leg, according to an accident report from the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department.
According to the report, Dahm drove left of the center line for an unknown reason, striking a Barons Bus head-on near U.S. 33 and Blue Lake Road.
The bus showed heavy damage and the SUV landed on its top on the opposite side of the roadway.
Police and medics were called to the scene at about 11:15 a.m., after receiving a report of an accident with multiple injuries. It initially was reported there were 50 patients.
Seventeen required medical treatment and were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries, officials said.
Smith Township Fire Department set up a triage base to manage the high level of patients.
The Barons Bus was traveling to Columbus, Ohio, from Chicago, with a stop planned in Fort Wayne. The Cleveland-based company operates bus routes and provides charter service in much of the Midwest.
U.S. 33 was closed in both directions while officials cleared the debris. It was reopened at about 3:30 p.m.
Dahm was well-known in Fort Wayne as a co-founder of Mike’s Carwash with his brother, Joe.
There were two other significant crashes in Whitley County on Thursday.
Early Thursday morning, a tractor-trailer and truck collided, causing the semi to flip onto its side, jack-knifing and sending the trailer through to the cab of the truck.
The driver suffered minor injuries and was not taken to the hospital. Officials say the truck was carrying about 42,000 pounds of mustard.
According to police reports, the semi was headed east on U.S. 30 when it failed to stop for a car near C.R. 600E. The vehicle came to a rest in the median, and the driver had minor injuries. Traffic was impeded for several hours Thursday while crews cleared the roadway.
There was another semi rollover on U.S. 30 near CR 400E in Whitley County Thursday afternoon. The highway was cleaned up by 5:30 p.m. Thursday.