A Crown Point man was arrested for leaving the scene of a crash after driving past a school bus and crashing into a NIPSCO wire before driving away, according to the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office.
Police announced the arrest of 56-year-old Chukudi Chinwaha of Crown Point following an investigation of the incident that occurred on Aug. 26.
That morning, deputies responded to the 9000 west block of U.S. 30 for a crash involving a commercial motor vehicle. The initial crash investigation revealed a South Central Community School Corporation Bus was slowing and preparing to turn right in a north direction off the highway into a driveway. The bus driver observed a vehicle quickly approaching the rear of the bus and not slowing down. To avoid being struck by the vehicle, the bus driver took quick action and did not complete the turn. The vehicle proceeded to pass the school bus on the right, leave the westbound lanes of U.S. 30 and continue traveling off the roadway. The vehicle collided with a guy wire that was affixed to a NIPSCO utility pole – snapping the pole in half and causing the transformer and wires to fall to the ground. The vehicle briefly stopped at the scene but left a short time later traveling westbound on U.S. 30.
Through an investigation police were able to identify the driver of the vehicle as Chinwah. Deputy Elcock presented the findings of his investigation earlier this month to the La Porte County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Probable cause was found and on Sept. 15, an arrest warrant was issued for Chinwah for leaving the scene of a crash.
On Monday, Chinwah surrendered himself and was booked into the La Porte County Jail (LCJ). He later posted bond on his behalf and was released from jail the same day.
Captain Derek J. Allen stated, “At the time of the incident, the school bus was transporting thirty-six students. The bus driver is commended for being aware of her surroundings and taking necessary actions to protect the safety of the students and avoiding what likely would have been a horrific tragedy. Incidents like these are completely avoidable – upon seeing a school bus, motorists must pay attention, use caution and be prepared to stop!”