(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.) — Investigators in Indianapolis, Ind. are working to determine what caused a bus filled with teenagers to slam into a median Saturday and flip, killing a youth pastor, his pregnant wife, and a female chaperone.
The church group was returning from a summer camp in Michigan and was just a mile away from its destination. The bus driver said he was making a left turn off an I-465 exit ramp when he hit a concrete median and flipped the bus.
The bus driver, who was severely injured in the crash, reportedly told authorities the brakes failed. Witnesses say they saw the bus traveling at a high rate of speed.
“I saw this bus going so fast and I thought god that guy was going fast and that’s an old bus” said Carol Albright, who witnessed the accident. “I drive a school bus and so just seeing that… this is every bus driver’s worst fear.”
There were 37 people on board when the bus crashed. Officials say 26 people were sent to the hospital in addition to the three people killed.
Several Good Samaritans immediately jumped out of their cars to help the injured passengers.
“I think the driver was the first one I came up on and he was bleeding pretty bad,” said Sasha Sample, a nurse who was one of the first on the scene. “So I stole somebody’s belt from the best I can remember and got a tourniquet on his arm and then just started to help out everybody else, try to get everybody that could walk away from the bus.”
Jeff Leffew, a deacon at the church where the bus was heading, says two of his daughters were on board when it crashed. They are still coming to terms with the accident, he said.
“It comes in waves where they’re okay and then it hits them again and you look over and you’ll see them grieving,” Leffew said.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Matt McFarland, CNN
Terry Sater, WISN
Samantha Beech, CNN