Bus driver claims brakes failed prior to deadly crash

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Investigators are busy digging into crushed metal, working to figure out what caused a church bus to crash at 96th and keystone Saturday, killing three people.

“You’re being relied upon to come up with the answers, come up with the truth.  It’s the right thing to do for the victims,” said First Sergeant Tyler Utterback.

Utterback is with the Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, which is now inspecting the bus, looking for clues.

“Basically what you’re doing is just to see if there are any defects or violations of the federal motor carrier safety regulations,” said Utterback.

Part of that includes separating damage from the crash from any pre-existing problems with the bus.

“If there’s something that’s damaged, it’s going to look like it was freshly damaged.”

Since the bus is owned by a church, it doesn’t undergo regular state inspections like those done on school buses but it does have to comply with federal regulations.

Witnesses said the bus was moving fast as it got off Interstate 465 and got onto southbound Keystone.

The 68-year-old driver told police the brakes failed. If that’s the case, we’ll know very soon.

“In the majority of these cases, you can tell fairly early on into an investigation whether or not there was a brake issue or not.”

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