Colonial Hills hosting one-year remembrance service for deadly bus crash

(WISH Photo, file)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Sunday, July 27 marks one year since the deadly Colonial Hills Baptist Church bus crash. Leaders at the church held a one-year remembrance service on Sunday morning.

The crash killed three adults, one of whom was pregnant, after the bus failed to negotiate the exit from I-465 to Keystone Avenue on a return trip from a Michigan church camp. The driver initially blamed a brake failure but an investigation showed he was driving too fast and there was no mechanical problem.

Church leaders say the community has rallied around the church over the past year to help make the healing process a little easier.

“We’ve seen some real miracles being done in this last year and the outpouring of love and support that we’ve seen even in events like this have just been a continued encouragement to our church as it goes through this whole year of healing,”  Daniel Elkins, the father of one of the bus crash survivors, said.

“When trials come your way, you have different ways to respond,” said church spokesperson Jeff Leffew. “For the vast majority, they’ve just responded in a positive way. And they’ve grown in their faith. And they’ve been reminded – I have been reminded – that life is brief and each day is important in how we live it and we’ve seen that.”

“Today we pause to remember,” said Senior Pastor Chuck Phelps. “We don’t not pause to remember the tragedy but to remember the opportunity it has birthed. We do not pause to remember the pain but to reflect on the plan God has revealed.”

“Overall, this church family has grown stronger and our roots have gone deeper,” said Leffew.

The church is now raising money for a new travel bus. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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