By John Tuohy, Betsy Reason and Jill Disis, The Indianapolis Star
INDIANAPOLIS -- Three people were killed and 26 injured, several critically, after a church bus carrying a group of young people home from summer camp crashed Saturday afternoon on the Northeastside.
Killed were a husband and wife on the bus, as well as a teenager, Indianapolis Fire Department officials said. The names of the victims had not been released.
The bus was one of two returning from a camp in Michigan to Colonial Hills Baptist Church in Indianapolis' Northeastside. The bus was barely a mile from the church when it crashed and toppled on its side at about 4:15 p.m.
Witnesses told authorities that the bus was traveling "at a high rate of speed" as the driver tried to navigate a turn from the Interstate 465 exit ramp onto southbound Keystone Avenue.
A witness, Carol Albright, said she was approaching the intersection from the south when the crash occurred.
The light in her lane had turned green, she said, when "out of nowhere the bus appeared" from the left.
"It was going very fast," Albright said. "It hit the median that divides the southbound lanes of Keystone from the ramp to 465. The nose of the bus hit the barricade.
"It kind of pivoted on the nose of the bus and did a little bit of a twist," she said. "How it didn't hit another car, I don't know."
People immediately hopped out of cars and helped the passengers, she said, One of them was Sasha Sample, a 28-year-old nurse from Carmel, who described the scene as "mass chaos."
She said victims were lying in the street and some hobbled to the shoulder of the road.
"Everybody had boils and scrapes on them," she said. "People were trying to climb from under the bus. ... No health care teams or anybody was there. So I just, on instinct, got out of the car and started to do what I could.
"I work as a nurse so I tried to see where I could be of help."
The driver is the first person she came upon.
"He was badly bleeding from the arm and I borrowed someone's belt and made a tourniquet to stop the bleeding," she said.
Next to the driver was a man who was killed.
"I couldn't do anything for him," Sample said. "So you triage. You help those you can."
Most of the victims were taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital and Riley Hospital for Children.
Authorities said nine victims, all teenagers, were taken to Methodist; two of them were airlifted. One of the victims is reported in critical condition.
Eleven were taken to Riley, six to Community Hospital North and the rest to St. Vincent Hospital.
Indianapolis Fire Department officials say 37 passengers, in addition to the driver, were on the bus.
Families of those involved in the crash gathered at Colonial Hills on Saturday evening.
Contributing: Michael Boren and Eric Weddle of The Star