INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Three people were killed on the city's north side Saturday afternoon when a bus carrying a church group flipped at 96th Street and Keystone Avenue.
Officers said the crash happened around 4:15 p.m. It was carrying older children heading back from camp in northern Michigan. Younger children were in a separate bus.
Witnesses at the scene said the bus was coming off of the interstate going fast. The bus went to make a left onto Keystone Avenue when it rolled. The bus belonged to the church.
According to a police report, the bus driver stated that while on the off ramp of I-465 turning south onto Keystone the brakes failed and he was unable to stop the bus from striking the raised median.
- PHOTOS | View photos from the scene
Police officials said there were 37 passengers on the bus. Of those, three were killed, and five passengers were trapped inside the bus. Two of the people killed, police officials said, were a husband and wife.
- VIDEO | Mayor speaks after crash
Two medical helicopters landed to transport patients to area hospitals. Nearly a dozen ambulances arrived to the scene as well. Indianapolis Fire Department officials gave the following patient count for each hospital as of about 8:30 p.m.:
- Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health: 10 patients
- Wishard Memorial Hospital: 1 patient
- IU Health Methodist Hospital: 9 patients
- St. Vincent Hospital: 2 patients
- Community North Hospital: 6 patients
- Treated and released from scene: 6 patients
Officials with IU Health said as of 5:45 a.m. they had treated and released five teenagers from Methodist Hospital. Two teens are listed in good condition, one is still in critical condition. Another seven teens had been treated and released from Riley Hospital for Children, where another two teens and a toddler were being held overnight in good condition. The toddler was released early Sunday morning.
In a tweet from Greg Ballard , the Indianapolis mayor wrote, "Such a terrible loss of life in the bus accident. In typical Hoosier fashion, many rushed to help along with IMPD, IFD & ISP." Ballard spoke more after visiting with church members.
Indianapolis Fire Department officials said passengers on the bus were mostly teens from Colonial Hill Baptist Church returning from camp. The camp is called Camp CoBeAc in Prudenville, Mich.
None of the victims were immediately identified, but church officials spoke about the people who died in the crash.
"Wonderful people who lived out their faith very actively, daily in their families and their communities and represented the body of Christ in a wonderful way, and have great families as well," Deacon Jeff Leffew said.
Bob Taylor, pastor emeritus at the church, quote the Bible, which said, "absent from the body, present with the Lord."
"So the ones who passed away, they were immediately ushered into heaven, and that's our comfort," Taylor said.
- STORY | Church leaders react to crash
Parents were gathered at the church waiting for the children to arrive, Leffew said. They found out about the crash when the smaller bus carrying younger children pulled up alone and children were screaming out the windows. The smaller bus had been traveling behind the bus that crashed.
Cindy Ferrier, business manager at Camp CoBeAc, provided this statement: " We are grieved for the loss these families are experiencing and are grateful for the opportunity we had to minister to and get to know them this past week."
Northbound lanes of Keystone Avenue were open as of 9:45 p.m. The southbound lanes were opened early Sunday morning. Our crew on the scene reports seeing fuel and dried oil on the roadway.
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