INDIANAPOLIS (www.incnow.tv) – An Indianapolis church is mourning the loss of three of its members, after they were killed in Saturday afternoon's tragic bus accident on the city's north side.
Those three members have been identified as Youth Pastor Chad Phelps and his wife Courtney, and Tonya Weindorf, a mother of five and long-time member of Colonial Hills Baptist Church.
The Phelps’ were both in their mid-twenties and were expecting their second child next month. Their two-year old son survived the crash.
The accident happened Saturday afternoon around 4:15. The bus, carrying 37 passengers from the church, was coming off the ramp from Interstate 465, but it was going too fast and hit the retaining wall. The bus flipped into the air and landed on its side. Nine teenagers remain hospitalized Sunday, their injuries ranging from serious to critical.
"We're never promised tomorrow and we always say that kind of tritely and then it does happen. We are very sorry for the loss of the folks in our church, for the three who passed away, but we know that God is in control. This was not a surprise to the Lord,” said Pastor Emeritus Bob Taylor.
The bus was less than two miles from the church when it crashed.
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard visited the congregation Saturday night. He described them as remarkably positive, but of course, very sad.
“Some of the teenagers are hurting pretty badly, and you could see that in their faces,” Ballard said. “There are a lot of adults in there, helping them, even though they are shook up, they're helping them, it seems to be a good group in there helping each other out."
The bus driver was also a member of the church. He says the brakes on the bus failed, causing the crash.
Three people were killed and several others were injured after a bus crashed on Interstate 465 near 96th St. and Keystone Ave. Saturday afternoon.
Police say the bus was carrying a large group of teenagers who were on their way home from a church camp in Michigan.
A dozen ambulances transported victims to hospitals and at least two people were air-lifted in critical condition. Five passengers were stuck and had to be extradited from the bus.
Witnesses told police that the bus was exiting I-465 and trying to turn left onto Keystone Ave. at a high rate of speed. The bus hit concrete retaining wall and flipped into the air before landing on its side.
"Light turned green...I went through it like you're supposed to...and just as I went through I heard a skid. I hesitated for a moment and I stopped and I began to look back and I hear the impact... and then I realize something went behind me, and I stopped, and I see this bus... in the air, and people falling out of this bus and... yeah, it was... I could've gone my whole life without seeing that,” said Duane Lloyd.
Lloyd says that the bus driver said his brakes failed, causing the accident.
Parents of the teenagers gathered at the church where the bus was headed to and waited to hear news on their loved ones.
Indiana State Police are currently investigating the crash. They ask that people avoid the area, as roads will possibly be closed into the late evening hours.
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