UPDATE: Youth Pastor, Wife, Chaperone Died In Bus Crash

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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UPDATE: Sunday, July 28, 2013

An Indianapolis church leader says the youth pastor and his pregnant wife are among the three people who died in Saturday's bus crash.

Deacon Jeff Leffew said at a news conference outside of Colonial Hills Baptist Church on Sunday morning that youth pastor Chad Phelps and his wife, Courtney Phelps, died in the accident.

He said Chad Phelps is the son of the church's main pastor, Charles Phelps. Courtney Phelps was pregnant and due next month.

The third person who died was Tonya Weindorf, a mother of five who was a chaperone on the trip to the northern Michigan youth camp.

Dozens were injured in the accident, in which a bus struck a retaining wall and flipped on its side. The Phelps' 2-year-old son has been released from the hospital.

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The driver in the fatal Indianapolis bus crash says the brakes failed as he exited the interstate.

The Indianapolis Star reports that driver Dennis Mauer, 68, told the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police that he was unable to keep the bus from hitting a retaining wall and overturning on Saturday.

The bus was carrying 37 people -- many of them teenagers -- home from a youth camp in northern Michigan. Three people were killed and dozens were injured.

Authorities are still investigating the crash, which happened on an exit ramp off Interstate 465.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A bus carrying teens coming home from a church camp crashed Saturday on a busy Indianapolis thoroughfare, killing three people and sending others to hospitals, officials said.

An Indiana Department of Transportation camera showed the bus overturned on its side near an Interstate 465 overpass. The Indianapolis Fire Department said crews had to free five people who were trapped inside after the crash Saturday afternoon. Four good Samaritans helped before first responders could arrive, including one man who helped pull the driver out, the agency said.

The bus was carrying 40 passengers who are members of Colonial Hill Baptist Church in Indianapolis and were returning from a summer camp. The Fire Department said those injured included children and adults.

Indianapolis Fire Department spokesman Lt. Rita Burris confirmed that three people died, though she did not provide any details on the victims, including whether they were children or adults. She said survivors were being taken to area hospitals. Some of the victims were taken from the scene by helicopter.

Details about how the crash happened were not immediately available.

Roads near the scene were closed, and authorities were urging people to use caution in the area. A hazardous materials crew was in the area cleaning up diesel fuel that spilled in the crash.

Parents of passengers were asked to go to the church for information.


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