The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

July 28, 2013

Indianapolis church mourns three who died in bus crash

(Continued)

Leffew, of Fishers, said only one of his daughters was on a second bus that pulled into the parking lot, and that he raced to the northern Indianapolis crash site. What he found was surreal — clothing and other items strewn about and windows missing from the bus.

"You're just praying that it's not as bad as it looks," he said Saturday. His daughters escaped with bumps and bruises.

Troy Riggs, Indianapolis' public safety director, called the crash a "great tragedy."

"They were not that far from home. ... That only adds to the tragedy," Riggs said Saturday.

Duane Lloyd, who witnessed the crash, told WTHR that he saw the crash happen at about 4:15 p.m., which was about the time Chad Phelps tweeted that the group would arrive at the church.

"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."

He said people approached and tried to help.

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

Three of the six hospitalized teens, including the one in critical condition, were at IU Health Methodist Hospital, Winter said Sunday. The other three were at the Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. Many of the patients had head, arm and leg injuries, fire officials said.

Leffew thanked rescue workers and good Samaritans who tried to help after the crash, as well as local churches and businesses that have offered their support.

"We are so grateful for that outpouring of love and care," he said Sunday.

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