The driver of an SUV involved in a crash with a school bus Monday died at IU Health Methodist Hospital on Tuesday night.
Scott Headley, 41, of Selma, rear-ended the bus on Indiana 32 east of Muncie and suffered internal bleeding due to the incident. No one on the bus was injured.
A neighbor who reported the crash said it was the second wreck on that road in two weeks.
"Soon as it hit, I was on the front porch, and while I had them on [the phone], the bus caught fire," said Gene Tweedy, who lives just down the road from where the incident happened.
Three special-needs children from Liberty-Perry Community Schools were on board the school bus, and Superintendent Bryan Rausch said none of them were injured. One student was getting off the bus when it was hit. He had no apparent injuries, according to Indiana State Police.
The bus driver was Alice Hill, 49, of Muncie, who went to IU Ball Memorial Hospital on her own to be checked out. Rausch said the driver followed all the proper procedures – deploying the stop arm and the bus signal lights.
"We think the car just simply didn't see the bus," Rausch said. "It's an honest accident."
He said the children were checked out at the scene and taken home by their parents. He was still at the scene at around 5 p.m., two hour after the crash.
"It scares you to death," the superintendent said. "You take kids home every day by the hundreds, and they go home and have a safe ride. We just kind of expect that."
Tweedy said he saw Headley before emergency personnel arrived and that the driver was bleeding heavily. A neighbor opened the back hatch of the vehicle and could see that the man was trapped inside. The neighbor and a passerby helped put out the vehicle fire before firefighters arrived.
Theresa Burgess, a mother of two children in the Liberty-Perry school system, said she lives a few streets down and was worried when she heard about the accident.
"I thought it was my kids' bus," she said. "Thank the Lord."
She and Tweedy both said wrecks are common on that stretch of highway.
"Just one of those things on 32," Tweedy said. "They're going to have to do something about this highway soon. One of these days, that's going to happen to a bus full of kids, and we're not going to be as lucky."