Indianapolis, IN — 3 people were killed and several were injured, including one critically, after a church bus lost control when it’s brakes allegedly failed on I-465. The accident happened on Saturday afternoon at about 4:15 p.m. (July 27, 2013) and police said that bus was from Colonial Hills Baptist Church. 51-year old Tonya Weindorf, an adult sponsor on the bus, was killed along with Colonial Hill Baptist’s youth pastor and his pregnant wife.
Though the details in the accident are still being investigated, it appeared that the accident happened on westbound I-465 as the large church bus was exiting for Keystone Avenue, which is near the church. The bus was returning from a trip with the church’s youth group when the driver claimed that the brakes went out on the bus, causing it to crash into a concrete median.
The bus then overturned and flipped onto its side, killing Weindorf, the youth pastor, and his young wife. At least 24 others were injured and 6 teenagers were hospitalized at various medical centers. At least one teenager remained in critical condition as of Sunday, according to CNN’s coverage.
The driver of the bus, a local church member, said that the brakes went out as he went to take the exit for Keystone. The accident and vehicle itself remain under investigation.
Scene of the Accident
For those of us in the litigation industry, this type of accident is unfortunately not uncommon. 18-wheelers and semi-trucks lose control and drivers will doze off at the wheel, causing catastrophic damages and injuries as a result. However, brake failure is a very serious issue and the resulting investigation here will play a big part in determining whether this accident could have been prevented. Now, let me be clear. I am not interested in stirring up controversy or drawing unhelpful attention to those suffering from this accident. Rather, I’m voicing my opinion here because we need to remember that we have a system of accountability and responsibility for situations like this one. Yes, accidents happens and sometimes they cannot be helped, but three lives have been lost here and it’s possible that a mechanical failure or malfunction could have caused it. In my experience, looking into the mechanical workings of the brakes can tell us one of two things: the brakes were faulty or some incompetent mechanical work caused the brakes to short out. Some people might misunderstand me here, but it’s absolutely important to be aggressive here because there’s more at stake than just a faulty brake system. The end goal is to prevent this kind of accident from happening again to another vehicle, commercial or not, and I hope that the investigation will be helpful to that end.
— Grossman Law Offices