Church bus crash sends 5 to hospitals, driver to jail on suspicion of drunken driving

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A church bus sits in the gore area between guardrails late Monday on the Indiana Toll Road, just before the Cline Avenue exit. The driver was intoxicated and drove off the road, police said.

HAMMOND — An 82-year-old church bus driver was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after driving off the road between two guardrails in a crash that injured several passengers, police said.

Wilton B. Carr, of Gary, was driving a bus owned by Jesus Saves Missionary Baptist Church in Gary back to Indiana from a trip to the United Center in Chicago, police said.

About 47 people, including adults and children, were on the bus when Carr drove straight off the road on eastbound Interstate 90 just before the Cline Avenue exit about 10:37 p.m. and into a rocky area between two guardrails.

The bus hit a gravel and dirt embankment, causing its front tires to leave the ground, police said. The impact caused passengers to be thrown from their seats.

A 49-year-old person and four children ranging in age from 10 to 14 were taken to local hospitals for leg injuries and head and neck pain, police said. Others were checked at the scene and released.

Carr was taken to a local hospital for an alcohol test, which he failed, police said.

He was taken to the Lake County Jail on suspicion of felony counts of operating while intoxicated causing bodily injury and operating while intoxicated with passengers under 18, and two misdemeanor counts of operating while intoxicated.

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