Church bus crash couple Chad, Courtney Phelps laid to rest

Couple, another woman killed in crash

INDIANAPOLIS - Two victims of the church bus crash last Saturday that killed three people and an unborn child were laid to rest on Saturday.

Chad and Courtney Phelps were buried not far from Colonial Hill Baptist Church, the church that meant so much to them.

Hundreds of mourners were on hand for the funeral. Chad Phelps' father, Charles Phelps, is youth minister at Colonial Hill. The couple's 2-year-old son survived the crash.

"Each of our children has blessed us immeasurably. Today, we sorrow because our family circle will never be the same this side of heaven," Phelps said.

The Phelps' funeral came a day after services for Tonya Weindorf, a mother of five who also died as the church-owned bus returning from a Michigan summer camp crashed.

Family members of the victims spoke publicly for the first time about the crash Wednesday, including details of how Courtney Phelps' last action was to save her son, Chase, by pushing him into the arms of a survivor.

"We saw the hands of the lord in rescuing him, and we believe Courtney was instrumental in keeping him here," Charles Phelps said.

Dozens of others, mostly teens, were injured. All have been released from hospitals.

Witnesses said the 68-year-old driver of the bus, also a church member, was speeding when the bus struck a concrete barrier less than two miles from its destination. The driver told police that the brakes failed.

"We will go through the vehicle thoroughly, and the process has started," said Indiana State Police Motor Carrier Division 1st Sgt. Tyler Utterback.

State police said it could take weeks to determine what caused the crash.

An online fundraiser for the Phelps' son has already raised more than $42,000 toward a $50,000 goal.

Follow Chris Proffitt on Twitter: @ChrisProffitt
 

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