Police: Driver in deadly bus crash had suspended license

Jul 28, 2015, 5:36 PM

GREENFIELD, Ind. (AP) — A 6-year-old boy died and 11 others were hurt when their church bus overturned near Indianapolis in an accident that police said appeared to be the result of an error by a driver with a suspended license.

The boy was ejected from the small church bus in the crash along Interstate 70 about 20 miles east of Indianapolis, Indiana State Police said. After the crash, the bus could be seen off of the side of the interstate near a tree line. Police said it was carrying 12 people.

The driver, 53-year-old Charles Goodman of Gary, had a suspended license and was wanted on an arrest warrant out of Lake County for failing to appear in court for a traffic offense, police said in a news release.

Goodman was ejected and pinned underneath the bus but was alert at the scene before being transported to an Indianapolis hospital by medical helicopter, according to the release.

Two adults were in fair condition at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, and two children were in fair condition at IU Health Riley Hospital for Children, also in Indianapolis, spokesman Gene Ford said. Their ages were not available.

Seven people were being treated for non-life-threatening injuries at Hancock Regional Hospital in Greenfield, spokesman Rob Matt said.

The bus was carrying members of St. Jude Family Worship Center in Gary. Terrance Gardner, who was with the group but traveling in a car behind the bus, told WTHR-TV group was headed to a youth convention in the Dayton, Ohio, area.

“I seen that the bus had flipped over, so I instantly rushed to help as many people as I could, to help anyone if I could. Smoke came up, they quickly put it out, so we proceeded with trying to get as many people out as we could. Everyone made it except one,” Gardner said.

“I don’t know what to say, I was just dumbfounded. I don’t believe there’s no word to describe it,” Gardner said.

Police said in the news release that a preliminary investigation indicates the crash “appears to be a result of driver error.”

“There is no evidence at this time of any mechanical failure,” the release said. It didn’t give further details about what caused the bus to overturn. The 6-year-old boy was not immediately identified.

The bus will be inspected by the Indiana State Police Commercial Motor Vehicle Division, it said.

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Police: Driver in deadly bus crash had suspended license