Gary, IN – A six-year-old boy was killed this Thursday morning in a bus accident involving a Gary Community School school bus.

According to the Northwest Indiana Times, Malachi Waiters, a first grader at Griffith Public Schools’ Ready Elementary School, died due to blunt force trauma after a bus accident that took place at Calhoun Street and West 41st Avenue in Gary. The six-year-old was a passenger in a Honda Civic that was being driven by Christopher Waiters, age 27. The school’s director of finance and its operations manager, George Jerome, said he believed that Malachi was being driven to school by his father.

The deputy police chief for the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Dan Murcheck, says the bus accident was caused by Waiters failing to stop at a stop sign at an intersection, which thus lead him to crash into a school bus. There were three students and two Gary school employees who were on the bus at the time of the accident; luckily, none of them were injured.

The six-year-old was taken to the Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus in Gary and was pronounced dead at around 8:40 a.m.

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In a statement released following the fatal Indiana bus accident, Murchek reveals that the beginning stages of the investigation show that alcohol could be a contributing factor in the crash. At the time of the accident, it was discovered that Waiters was driving on a suspended driver’s license and also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest from a previous driving while suspended offense.

After the bus accident in Indiana, Waiters was taken to the Southlake Methodist emergency room for medical evaluation before being transported to the Lake County jail on pending charges of “causing death while operating a vehicle.”

There was another young passenger in Christopher Waiters’ vehicle who was transported to Munster Community Hospital with minor injuries. The bus driver, George Hood, was taken to Northlake Methodist in Gary for a medical evaluation after the bus accident.

School officials say grief counselors were brought to the school in order to tend to students who may have been friends with Malachi, and to speak with his teachers and school staff. Jerome shared that while he was not sure if the students were cognizant of what happened to their classmate, he did know that their teachers would “need to be able to speak to someone and that process has started.”

The Northwest Indiana Times further reports that all three students who were on the school bus were released to their parents following the fatal bus accident.

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