Saint Ignatius College Prep Community Holds Mass for Students Injured in Weekend Bus Crash

Two students are still hospitalized following Saturday's crash

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The Saint Ignatius College Prep community came together in prayer Monday at an afternoon Mass to honor the 23 students and two coaches who were on a school bus Saturday night that was hit by a semi truck.

The driver was believed to be impaired at the time, according to police. Charges were pending as of late Monday.

The Saint Igantius College Prep Junior Varsity hockey team was on its way back to a hotel following a tournament at Culver Academies when the crash occurred in Warsaw, Indiana.

In all, 16 students were injured. Two of those players remain in a Fort Wayne hospital as of Monday evening.

Charlie Reif's brother was on the bus at the time of the crash but wasn't seriously hurt.

"He’s pretty lucky. I’m just thankful for that," said Reif, a junior at Saint Ignatius.

"The first emotion is really shock, it’s... unbelievably scary," said hockey director Spencer Montgomery.

Montgomery said when he got the call about the crash, he immediately drove to Fort Wayne to be with his players in the hospital.

"There’s going to be a long road to recovery," he said. "The hockey community is mighty. We turn to love first. The parents have grown closer and leaned on each other."

Varsity players call the team "resilient" and said at a team dinner Sunday, the group was able to bond and support players who are still traumatized from the crash.

"There was definitely mentions of what happened," said varsity captain Jake Rhyner. "But mostly people were just talking about how grateful they were for everyone, their brothers, to be safe. There’s a lot of positivity more than anything else."

The school confirms junior varsity hockey games are cancelled for the foreseeable future as they assess next steps. Varsity games will go on as planned.

"I think they’ll get on the ice again as soon as they can," said varsity player Jack Perreault. "It's pretty heartwarming to see how those guys lifted each other up."

Many in the hockey community have reached out to show their support, including the Chicago Blackhawks.

"We send our thoughts and prayers to the Saint Ignatius College Prep's hockey team, their coaches and their families after the team was involved in a serious bus accident last night," the Blackhawks tweeted Sunday. "Please join us in keeping them in your thoughts."

School leaders say their focus now is on healing both physically and emotionally. Counselors will be available to students who need them.

"This was a very traumatic event, but it showed a lot of good in the hockey community in general," said Rhyner. "Everyone has been so supportive. We feel the love and care everywhere."

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