The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Nation & World

July 28, 2013

3 dead when bus carrying teens crashes in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS — A bus carrying teenagers returning to Indiana from a church camp in Michigan crashed Saturday afternoon just minutes from home, killing three people and sending 26 others to hospitals, officials said.

The bus came speeding off of Interstate 465 in northern Indianapolis, about a mile from the Colonial Hills Baptist Church that passengers attended and the bus' final destination. It struck a retaining wall as it tried to round a curve and overturned. The campers were returning from Camp CoBeAc in northern Michigan, about six hours away. The church's youth pastor had set a tweet a couple of hours before the crash saying the group was expected to arrive at about 4:15 p.m., around the time the accident happened.

"They were not that far from home. ... That only adds to the tragedy," Indianapolis Public Safety Director Tony Riggs said.

Riggs visited the crash scene with Mayor Greg Ballard before heading to the church. Riggs said there was no indication that the driver had a medical emergency and called the accident "a great tragedy."

Ballard said investigators were taking measurements and examining the bus to determine the cause of the crash.

WTHR-TV reported the bus driver told witnesses his brakes failed. Indianapolis Fire Department Lt. Ato McTush said police and fire officials had not determined whether the church-owned bus had mechanical issues.

Duane Lloyd told WTHR that he heard a loud noise behind him as he was traveling near the intersection and saw the crash around 4:15 p.m.

"I heard a skid. I looked back. I see this bus in the air and people falling out of the bus," Lloyd said. "I could have gone my whole life without seeing that."

Karen Woodard, a member of Colonial Hills Baptist Church, cried as she stared at the wrecked bus surrounded by pillows, water bottles and clothing. She said the bus was returning from a youth camp in Michigan and some of the teens had their parents with them.

"It's so terrible. I can't believe it," she said.

Indianapolis Fire Department said crews had to free five people who were trapped inside after the crash. Several stopped to help before first responders could arrive, including one man who helped pull the driver out of the bus, the department said.

"People were stopping their cars. People were literally trying to lift the bus," Lloyd said. "You just try to do what you can do."

Fire officials said the bus was carrying about 40 passengers and that the injured included children and adults.

Nine teenagers were taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital, including one in critical condition. Ten others, including nine teenagers and a toddler, were in stable condition at Riley Hospital for Children, a spokeswoman for the hospitals said.

Many of the patients were suffering head, arm and leg injuries, fire officials said.

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

Outside the church, a yellow school bus with the church school's name was parked outside with piles of sleeping bags and suitcases nearby. Families hugged outside and talked quietly before going inside, where they met with Ballard and Riggs Saturday evening.

Ballard described the families as "remarkably positive" despite their sorrow.

"Some of the teenagers are hurting pretty bad and you can see that in their faces," he said.

Church member Jeff Leffew, 44, of Fishers, who had three daughters on the bus that crashed and a fourth on a second bus, said he was waiting to pick them up in the church parking lot when the second bus arrived. He said he knew immediately that something was wrong because the kids on the bus were screaming.

He went to the crash scene and found his three daughters with only bumps and bruises.

He called the crash scene "surreal."

"You're just praying that it's not as bad as it looks," he said.

 

1
Text Only
Nation & World
  • Holder bringing personal perspective to Ferguson

     Eric Holder talks about the nation's civil rights struggles in a way no previous U.S. attorney general could — by telling his own family story.

    August 20, 2014

  • Senate control could rest with well-funded women

    Control of the Senate could lie in the fortunes of female candidates and the deep-pocketed donors, like former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who are sending piles of cash their way.

    August 20, 2014

  • Iraq forces retake Mosul Dam; militants deny claim

    Boosted by two days of U.S. airstrikes, Iraqi and Kurdish forces on Monday wrested back control of the country's largest dam from Islamic militants, a military spokesman in Baghdad said as fighting was reported to be underway for the rest of the strategic complex.

    August 18, 2014

  • US stocks open higher; Family Dollar jumps

     U.S. stocks are opening higher, following gains in Europe.

    August 18, 2014

  • Federal autopsy ordered in Missouri teen's death

    Attorney General Eric Holder on Sunday ordered a federal medical examiner to perform another autopsy on a black Missouri teenager whose fatal shooting by a white police officer has spurred a week of rancorous and sometimes-violent protests in suburban St. Louis.

    August 17, 2014

  • news_missingamish.jpg Official: Amish girls sexually abused in abduction

    Two young Amish sisters were sexually abused after their abduction from a roadside farm stand in northern New York, a prosecutor said Saturday.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ukraine [Duplicate] Ukraine says troops entered rebel-held city

    Ukraine's government said Sunday that separatists shot down a Ukrainian fighter plane after army troops entered deep inside a rebel-controlled city in the east in what could prove a breakthrough development in the four-month long conflict.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_ferguson.jpg Governor declares emergency, sets Ferguson curfew

    Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew Saturday in a St. Louis suburb where police and protesters have clashed in the week since a black teenager was shot to death by a white police officer.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_rickperry.jpg Perry is latest 2016 GOP hopeful facing legal trouble

    As they form exploratory committees and begin hiring staff in key presidential battleground states, three potential Republican White House candidates also face the distraction of legal troubles back at home. The latest is Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who following his indictment on two felony charges, is staring at the most serious accusations of wrongdoing by a prominent Republican governor openly considering a run for president.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Missing Amish Girls_Mile.jpg Sheriff: Pair may have plotted to kidnap more kids

    A couple accused of kidnapping two young Amish sisters were prowling for easy targets and may have also planned to abduct other children, a sheriff said Saturday.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo