(Photo: WISH-TV Screenshot)
Investigators have ruled that speeding was responsible for an Indianapolis church bus crash that killed three people this summer, including the church's youth pastor and his pregnant wife.
State police inspectors did not find any mechanical problems with the bus, seemingly contradicting the bus driver's claims that the vehicle's brakes failed moments before the bus drove into a retaining wall and flipped onto its side.
The bus' roughly 40 passengers were returning from a week of summer camp in Michigan on July 27. Thirty of the passengers were hurt and Tonya Weindorf, a mother of five, and Chad and Courtney Phelps perished from the accident, though the Phelps' two-year-old son survived.
The bus driver, 69-year-old Denny Maurer, a church member, is reportedly still recovering from injuries sustained during the crash.
In a statement, Colonial Hills Baptist Church deacon Jeff Leffew expressed gratitude for the authorities' work and for the churches and community members who had reached out to the them.
"We want to thank the Indiana State Police and IMPD for their diligence and hard work with the ongoing investigation into the cause of the incident. The extreme difficulty of overcoming such an unexpected event has only been softened by our confidence in God's goodness and His care and love for us along with a concerned community of friends who have overwhelmed us with their compassion," wrote Leffew.
"As our church moves forward together, we look to God for strength and courage, and we look ahead with faith and hope," he added.