Three victims killed in Indiana bus crash had ties to Upstate - FOX Carolina 21

Three victims killed in Indiana bus crash had ties to Upstate

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Chad Phelps, wife Courtney Phelps, and their son. Courtesy: Facebook Chad Phelps, wife Courtney Phelps, and their son. Courtesy: Facebook
Tonya Weindorf pictured left. Courtesy: Facebook Tonya Weindorf pictured left. Courtesy: Facebook
INDIANAPOLIS (FOX Carolina/AP) -

An Indianapolis church's youth pastor, his pregnant wife and a congregation member, all with ties to the Upstate, have died in a weekend bus crash.

Youth Pastor Chad Phelps; his wife, Courtney Phelps; and Tonya Weindorf, a mother of five, died in the accident off of Interstate 465 on Saturday. The bus was returning to Colonial Hills Baptist Church in Indianapolis after a week-long summer camp in Michigan.

Colonial Hills Baptist Church's bus driver, Dennis Maurer, told police that the brakes failed before the church-owned vehicle struck a raised concrete median and flipped on its side.

Dozens of others were hurt in the crash. One teenager is still in critical condition.

Bob Jones University officials confirmed all three victims were graduates of the university.

Weindorf, who was a chaperone on the camping trip, graduated in 1982, according to BJU spokesman Randy Page.

Page also said Chad Phelps graduated with a bachelor's degree in 2010 and completed a master's degree at Bob Jones earlier this year.

Page said Courtney Phelps graduated from the university in 2011 and was a native of Simpsonville.

Pastor Jeff Hamrick said Courtney Phelps is the daughter of local physician Russell Gaddy, M.D., who ran a practice in the Mauldin area.

Hamrick said the Gaddys attend Calvary Baptist Church in Simpsonville and recalls watching Courtney Phelps grow up in the church.

The Phelps were in their mid 20s and expecting their second child, according to Hamrick. Friends of the family said the couple were the parents of a surviving 2-year-old named Chase.

"They loved Chase very much," said Sheryl Valentine. "He's going to have a lot of things, pictures and words of wisdom to look back at."

Hamrick said the church held a special prayer for the Phelps and Weindorf families during the morning church services Sunday.

Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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