Indianapolis church grieves for members killed in bus crash
The victims of Saturday's deadly bus crash were well known in their church community. That community is facing some difficult days ahead as they grieve and remember those who were lost.
They were almost home.
"On our way back now. Great Week," tweeted Colonial Hills Baptist Church Youth Pastor Chad Phelps Saturday afternoon on the bus back from Michigan.
And another tweet, haunting, knowing what would come just a few hours later.
"On the bus on the way home. Pray for safety, " Phelps tweeted.
The journey home didn't turn out that way though for Phelps, his wife Courtney, who was eight months pregnant, and 51-year-old Tonya Weindorf. They died when their bus overturned at 96th and Keystone. Dozens of teenagers in their care were injured and rushed to area hospitals.
"Yesterday, we lost four dear friends from our church family and we're gonna have a long road, but God's good," said one of the church deacons Jeff Leffew, whose four daughters were also on the trip, but were not injured.
Phelps had been the youth pastor for more than a year and was the son of the church's senior pastor Chuck Phelps.
"We appreciate him. He set an example of his faith for us to all be encouraged by, that God is good, all the time," said Leffew.
The Phelps were expecting their second child next month. They already have a two year old son who was also taken to the hospital, but is now with family members.
Like the Phelps, Weindorf too was a parent. She was a mother of five children, one of whom has special needs and wanted to go to camp.
Weindorf went too, to help.
"She wanted to go and make it a good week," said Leffew.
"According to her husband, it was a great week and that's who Tonya was,' he added.
This church family isn't asking why. They're leaving that up to investigators. Instead, they're trusting God.
"They're with God in heaven right now. We know that without a doubt," said Leffew.
Still, when you love the ones you've lost so tragically, it's not easy.
"We grieve the fact that they're not here with us. We miss 'em," said Leffew.