Teen dies after crash involving school bus on I-70

HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — A teenager died and nine others were hurt, including several juveniles, when a school bus and three other vehicles crashed on Interstate 70 near State Road 39 Friday.

It happened on westbound I-70 near mile marker 59 just before 1 p.m., according to Indiana State Police.

Police said 51-year-old Kenneth B. Gieger Jr. of Princeton failed to slow for traffic in a construction zone. Gieger’s semi rear-ended a Budget rental box truck driven by 39-year-old Matthew Roeder of Peoria, Arizona.

The impact forced Roeder’s truck into the back of a school bus carrying 23 students and five adults from Missouri. It was driven by 52-year-old Wendell Clay of Richland, Missouri, and was heading back to Missouri from the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis.

Gieger’s truck continued to veer left, hitting a Chevy industrial van with 51-year-old Mark Stewart of St. Louis, Missouri, behind the wheel, according to Indiana State Police. The van was pushed into the median barrier cables.

A passenger in the box truck, 19-year-old Jace Roeder of Woods Cross, Utah, the driver’s son, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

“You have to look down the road when you are driving and be prepared to stop,” Indiana State Police Sgt. Jeff Watts said after the crash.

Geiger, who was cited for following too close, and Matthew Roeder were taken to local hospitals for non-life threatening injuries. Clay and Stewart were not injured.

The students, who were not seriously injured, are from Stoutland and Richland school districts in Missouri.

“Your heart just sinks to your stomach you want to first of all make sure everybody is okay,” said Eric Cooly, superintendent Stoutland Schools. “You worry about them being so far away not being able to go to them and help them.”

I-70 was reopened around 4:30 p.m.

“We were very thankful that the national FFA has provided a bus to bring our students home,” Cooly added.

Alcohol and drugs are not believed to have been involved in the crash.