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Church Identifies Victims In Deadly Bus Crash

Last updated on Monday, July 29, 2013

(INDIANAPOLIS) - A youth pastor and his wife, along with another church member, were killed in Saturday’s bus crash on the north side of Indianapolis.

WTHR reports, Jeff Leffew with Colonial Hills Baptist Church told reporters Sunday morning that Chad Phelps, his wife Courtney, and Tonya Weindorf died in the crash, which occurred on Keystone Ave. as the bus exited the off-ramp from I-465 a little after 4:15 pm.

The Phelpses, who were in their mid-twenties, were expecting their second child next month. Their two-year-old son survived the crash.

Chad Phelps is the son of the church's senior pastor, Chuck Phelps. Tonya Weindorf is a longtime member of the church and is survived by five children.

Leffew said Weindorf was on the bus because her special needs son wanted to attend the camp.

Nine teenagers remain hospitalized Sunday. Five are at IU Health Methodist, three are at Riley Hospital for Children IU Health and one is at St. Vincent. One is in critical condition.

Members of the Colonial Hills Baptist Church Youth Group were riding on two buses returning from Michigan summer camp when one of the buses crashed.

Thirty-seven people were on the bus when it crashed, most of them teenagers. Five of the passengers had to be extricated from the bus. Injuries ranged from critical to serious.

They were less than two miles from the church when the crash occurred. The bus driver said the bus brakes failed.

Leffew told reporters Sunday that a church member was driving the bus. He also said the church owns the bus.

Twenty-six people went to area hospitals for treatment. Their ages ranged from a toddler to teenagers.

Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health admitted five patients, all teenagers, including the patient transferred from IU Health Methodist. They are all in good condition. The toddler was among those treated and released. Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health received a total of 10 patients from the bus accident.

In all, 26 units were dispatched from the Indianapolis Fire Department, and numerous agencies responded to the scene at Keystone Ave. near 96th St. The crash closed Keystone for several hours. The bus has been moved to another location for inspection.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Indianapolis Metro Police and Indianapolis Fire Departments.

To read more on this story visit http://www.wthr.com/story/22950135/2013/07/28/investigation-continues-into-indianapolis-church-bus-crash

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