Ambulance stock

CHESTERTON — A charter bus and semitrailer swerved off the road Thursday night after a passenger allegedly grabbed the wheel of the bus, police said.

Police responded to the crash at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday on westbound Interstate 94 near the 28-mile marker just east of Chesterton, according to Indiana State Police.

Both vehicles were traveling westbound when an Indian Trails charter bus collided with the semitrailer. Both vehicles ran off the roadway after the crash and they came to a stop on the outside shoulder.

A charter bus passenger, Pedro Garcia Rodriquez, 36, of Chicago, allegedly had made his way to the front of the bus and grabbed the wheel, trying to gain control of the bus, police said.

The bus, which had 51 passengers on board, swerved out of its lane and hit the semitrailer, causing the wreck.

Rodriquez and three other people complained of pain after the wreck but only Rodriquez was transported to Porter Regional Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

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The bus was en route to Chicago from Benton Harbor, Michigan, police said.

Rodriquez was charged with aggravated battery, criminal recklessness with a motor vehicle and criminal mischief, police said. His motivation for attempting to gain control of the bus is unknown.

Firefighters, police and emergency medical service professionals from Chesterton, Porter County, Burns Harbor assisted Indiana State Police at the scene.

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Night Crime/Breaking News Reporter

Anna Ortiz is the breaking news/crime reporter for The Times, covering crime, politics, courts, investigative news and more. She is a Region native and graduate of Ball State University with a major in journalism and minor in anthropology.