Colonial Hills Church rebuilding 1 year after bus crash

INDIANAPOLIS - It's been nearly a year since the deadly Colonial Hills bus crash, and the church is still rebuilding – albeit with help from the Indianapolis community.

On Saturday, a parking lot near 96th and Keystone was filled with orange cones and a commercial-sized shredder for a fundraising event.

All of the money raised, along with some matching donations, will go toward replacing the church's bus.

The fundraiser was hosted by Rob Moritz, who had two children – 15-year-old Avery and 17-year-old Alex – on the bus on July 27, 2013, when the crash occurred.

"Avery was actually trapped under the bus for a while," Mortiz said. "He has some scarring on his face. We're going to see what time does. We know what plastic surgery does – it's trading one scar for another. Alex has some bumps and bruises. He actually found Avery under the bus. He waited with him until rescuers came."

Thirty-three people were hurt in the crash, and three were killed, including the church's youth pastor, his pregnant wife, and a chaperone.

The church was returning from a summer camp in Michigan at the time of the crash.

Mortiz, who is a deacon at the church, said the bus was a tool the church had used to serve others.

"It's used with school for field trips, it's for the youth group going on camp, mission trips, senior citizen activities over the country," he said.

Moritz's business covered the costs of shredding sensitive documents and drives for the fundraiser, which saw both family and friends bring their documents to be shredded.

Moritz estimated a new bus will cost the church about $100,000. He said the Colonial Hills youth group has already raised $20,000 toward the cause by selling bracelets.

The church will remember the one-year anniversary of the crash next Sunday in a special service at 10:45 a.m. The church is located at 8140 Union Chapel Road.

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