Tip Line: 414-777-5808 | newsdesk@cbs58.com

UPDATE: Driver of semi involved in accident that injured 20 students arrested for OWI

Updated 9:45 p.m. on May 24, 2018

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Twenty people on a bus were hurt in a frightening crash on Wednesday.

Now, the semi-truck driver is in Columbia County Jail and is expected to be charged with OWI. 

Four of those people on the bus were seriously hurt with two needing to be airlifted to a hospital. Investigators say the group was headed to the Wisconsin Dells for an end of the year field trip.

Their bus had mechanical issues and pulled over. Then, officials say the semi-truck driving erratically hit the bus from behind.

The family of victim 15-year-old Alexis Jenkins says that she has several broken bones, punctured lungs, and is breathing on a ventilator.

Her grandmother says the semi-truck driver did a terrible thing.

"He's put a hole in my heart. My granddaughter was going on a field trip. She was graduating today and he put a hole in my heart. She will never be the same," the grandmother of Alexis said.

Lakeside Bus Company says they are cooperating in the investigation. They released the following statement,

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the passengers injured in the accident that occurred in Columbia County this week. We look forward to their speedy recovery and return to HOPE Christian School: Semper for the end of the school year. We continue to work closely with the Wisconsin State Patrol to do everything we can to assist with their ongoing investigation. As partners in this community, safety is our first and most important priority.

If you'd like to donate to the recovery of Alexis Jenkins, click here.COLUMBIA COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Twenty people on a bus were hurt in a frightening crash on Wednesday.

Now, the semi-truck driver is in Columbia County Jail and is expected to be charged with OWI. 

Four of those people on the bus were seriously hurt with two needing to be airlifted to a hospital. Investigators say the group was headed to the Wisconsin Dells for an end of the year field trip.

Their bus had mechanical issues and pulled over. Then, officials say the semi-truck driving erratically hit the bus from behind.

The family of victim 15-year-old Alexis Jenkins says that she has several broken bones, punctured lungs, and is breathing on a ventilator.

Her grandmother says the semi-truck driver did a terrible thing.

"He's put a hole in my heart. My granddaughter was going on a field trip. She was graduating today and he put a hole in my heart. She will never be the same," the grandmother of Alexis said.

Lakeside Bus Company says they are cooperating in the investigation. They released the following statement,

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the passengers injured in the accident that occurred in Columbia County this week. We look forward to their speedy recovery and return to HOPE Christian School: Semper for the end of the school year. We continue to work closely with the Wisconsin State Patrol to do everything we can to assist with their ongoing investigation. As partners in this community, safety is our first and most important priority.

If you'd like to donate to the recovery of Alexis Jenkins, click here.

------

Updated: 3:16 p.m. May 23, 2018

DE FOREST, Wis. (CBS 58) -- HOPE Christian Schools has issued a statement saying the incident was "very scary" but they were "blessed by urgent first-responders".

------

Updated: 3:00 p.m. May 23, 2018

DE FOREST, Wis. (CBS 58) – Twenty people were hurt after a semi crashed into a school bus carrying students from the Milwaukee area.

Officials say the crash happened around 10:15 Wednesday morning.

According to Wisconsin State Patrol, a school bus carrying middle schoolers and chaperones pulled over on the shoulder of I-39 northbound when a semi driving erratically hit the bus from behind.

Investigators say the bus was headed to the Wisconsin Dells for a field trip and had pulled over onto the shoulder for a mechanical issue.

Wisconsin State Patrol says of the 33 people on the bus, 20 reported injuries. Four people were seriously hurt and two of those four needed to be airlifted to an area hospital.

State Patrol says the semi driver is from Indianapolis. It’s unclear why the driver was driving erratically and no charges have been filed at this time.

The crash is still under investigation.

------

Updated: 1:43 p.m. May 23, 2018

DE FOREST, Wis. (CBS 58) -- UW Health Systems say they are treating nine patients from the bus crash. Two of the injured are at East Side Hospital which does not treat critical injuries indicating their injuries are less severe.

The students attend HOPE Semper Christian School which is located near 31st and Capitol.

The other seven that were injured are at University Hospital and are still being assessed.

An updated release from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation says that 20 total people were injured in the collision. There were 33 people on the bus. Four of the injuries were serious and two were airlifted. 

A second bus has been sent from Milwaukee to pick up the uninjured passengers.

------

Posted: 12:06 p.m. May 23, 2018

DE FOREST, Wis. (CBS 58) – Four are hurt after a semi hit a school bus with students from the Milwaukee area in Columbia County.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, a bus from a Milwaukee area private school was parked on the shoulder at I-39 northbound at mile marker 122.4 when it was hit by the semi around 10:15 Wednesday morning. Officials say those who were injured were airlifted to a local hospital.

 by Courtesy: Jordan Sullivan

Courtesy: Jordan Sullivan

Wisconsin State Police is currently investigating. Students will be transported to the Wisconsin State Patrol De Forest Post for reunification. 

The Wisconsin DOT says the two right lanes of I-39 northbound are closed while crews investigate. Drivers are told to avoid the area and take alternate routes. 

Share this article: