Indianapolis, IN — A fatal church bus crash on I-465 on Saturday afternoon (July 27, 2013) claimed three lives, including a pastor’s, after an accident that may have been caused by faulty brakes. Police identified two of the three deceased victims as Chad Phelps and his pregnant wife, Courtney Phelps. Chad was a youth pastor for Colonial Hills Baptist Church. 

According to CNN’s coverage of the accident, brake failure on the church bus that carried 37 people was suspected to be a major factor in the accident. The bus was headed west on I-465 and was taking the exit for Keystone Avenue to go back to Colonial Hills Baptist when the driver lost control, hitting a concrete median.

The bus the overturned and landed on its side, killing Chad and Courney Phelps along with another adult woman sponsor on the bus. Of the 37 people on the bus, an estimated twenty-four were injured and six teenagers were hospitalized with more serious injuries. At least one teen was in critical condition as of Monday.

The accident is still being investigated, but the bus driver, a local member at the church, said that the brakes on the commercial bus failed as he tried to slow down for the exit.

No updates have been issued yet.

Scene of the Accident

Commentary:

This is one of the more tragic accidents I’ve read about in recent months, and I wish I could say that this is an isolated incident, but there are unfortunately many accidents like this one that claim lives on our interstates. First, let me just state that the investigation is clearly still underway and in no way do I want to sensationalize or draw any undue attention to those suffering from this accident. That said, I find it highly disturbing that brake failure is being listed as an issue here. Although it’s not the first time I’ve come across this factor in my career, I would be very interested in seeing the results of the investigation. Ultimately, this may be an issue with the manufacturer of the bus itself or some other third-party manufacturer regarding the brake system on the bus. If faulty mechanical work or faulty parts contributed to this accident, I hope that the responsible party will accept full liability and do the right thing here. Accidents happen, I understand, but there also needs to be a system of accountability and responsibility to which we hold businesses and manufacturers.

 

— Grossman Law Offices

Recent Comments to the Blog

Jason is back to work and is now playing Sled Hockey and wheelchair rugby!! Jason is the strongest and most amazing man! He may nly have 1/2 a leg, but that is ALL he is lacking!! Thanks to prayer and GOD and awsome first responders and Baylor doctors. Jason's wife, Sheila
— Sheila
I'm a former employee. I had brought up this exact scenario and suggested a maintenance procedure that would eliminate the possibility of this type injury. Obviously my warning went unheeded.
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I was actually a couple cars back from this wreck, one of the first on the scene, and helped administer CPR on the victims. The truck driver was going way too fast, but it was actually his trailer that swung around and hit the suv, the semi-truck ended in the median.
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I am Anthony Siffords daughter. im 13 and i miss my dad i just wanted everyone to know that he is in a better place now and i would to thank everyone for the support. i miss my dad but it was amazing to see how many people had been toughed by my dad god bless thanks for everything...
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Thank you for posting these accident articles on your site. At the company that I work for, e deal with monitoring construction activity and work around trenches and all sorts of construction equipment/vehicles. I sometimes wonder if construction companies have enough safety training to inform employees of how to protect themselves while on the job.
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