Lawmakers looking to honor Winamac teen killed in 2018 school bus crash

(95.3 MNC)
A new railroad bridge overpass on U.S. 31 in Marshall County is one step closer to be named after a Hoosier teenager who passed away after a 2018 school bus crash.
On Dec. 5, 2018, Owen Abbott, 13, was traveling to Warsaw on a school field trip with other Winamac Community Middle School students when a truck rear ended their school bus as it was making a mandatory stop at a rail crossing near Argos. Abbott passed away and others were injured in the crash.
Republican State Representative Doug Miller of Elkhart, sponsor of Senate Concurrent Resolution 10, said the dangerous intersection in Marshall County led the state to install a new railroad bridge overpass in the area and now he’s joining other state lawmakers in calling on the Indiana Department of Transportation to name it the “Owen Abbott Memorial Bridge.”
“Owen had his whole life in front of him and it’s heartbreaking to know it was cut short,” Miller said. “Naming this new bridge overpass, which will undoubtedly save lives moving forward, after him would be a small gesture by our state that would go a long way to honor him and help recognize the tremendous loss felt by Owen’s family, friends and community.”
Abbott played on the school football team and on the all-star team for Star City Little League, and he was a member of the Pulaski County 4-H. He also enjoyed both hunting and shooting.
Between 2018 and 2022, there were seven major crashes involving vehicles legally required to stop at this railroad crossing, resulting in 38 total injuries and the loss of Abbott. In April 2023, INDOT broke ground to begin a $28 million project, including the construction of a railroad overpass in place of the intersection, with the expectation that the overpass prevents future accidents.
Miller said the resolution passed the Indiana Senate and Indiana House of Representatives, and is expected to be approved by INDOT, which will be responsible for installing the bridge marker.

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