By Rick Callahan
The Associated Press
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, struck a retaining wall as it rounded a curve and overturned. The campers were returning from Camp CoBeAc in northern Michigan, about six hours away.
The church’s youth pastor had sent a tweet a couple of hours before the crash saying the group was expected to arrive at the church about 4:15 p.m., around the time the accident happened.
“They were not that far from home. That only adds to the tragedy,” said Indianapolis Public Safety Director Troy Riggs.
The dead included a man and his wife, Riggs said. Authorities did not provide information about the third victim.
Riggs and Mayor Greg Ballard visited the crash scene, where clothing, pillows and seat cushions from the bus were scattered along with at least two shattered windows, before they headed 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 examining the bus to determine the cause of the crash.