DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver District Attorney’s Office has filed charges against the driver of an allegedly stolen SUV that collided with a Denver Public School bus last week. Several students were injured in the crash.
The collision happened just before 4 p.m. Thursday in Denver’s Sunnyside neighborhood near 39th and Tejon Street. The bus was full of students from Denver Montessori Jr./Sr. High School.
Officers say Louis Ortiz was driving the SUV with multiple people inside and was trying to get away from police before the crash. Officers say he was wanted for burglary.
Ortiz has been charged with one count of vehicular eluding, vehicular assault and reckless driving.
The suspect allegedly ran a stop sign and the approaching school bus driver had to swerve out of the way before the collision happened. The bus wound up crashing into a tree and both vehicles were damaged.
A student told CBS4 that police who arrived on the scene then approached the suspect’s car with guns drawn.
Five students who were on the bus had to be taken to the hospital but none of those injuries were considered life threatening. Several other students wound up with bumps and bruises.
The suspect and four other people in his car were also taken to the hospital. Two of those were children who were seriously injured.
Police say they were not pursuing Ortiz’s car and that a chase was not underway when the crash happened.
According to the DA’s Office, Ortiz was driving the same vehicle that eluded officers on March 30 and a marked patrol car began to follow the suspect vehicle.
Ortiz remains in custody. He is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday. Ortiz has a long criminal record that includes aggravated motor vehicle theft, drug offenses, aggravated robbery, escape and parole violations.