Family remembers church member killed in bus crash

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A family is relying on their faith after a woman was killed in a bus accident over the weekend. Tonya Weindorf, a church member at Colonial Hills Baptist Church, died in the crash at 96th Street and Keystone Avenue Saturday.

Youth Pastor Chad Phelps, his wife, Courtney, and their unborn child also lost their lives in the accident.

Family members describe Weindorf as a woman who led by example and, of all things, was a follower of faith and mother of five.

“Tonya was a good woman,” said Tony Grahn, Tonya’s twin brother. “She loved Jesus. She was intentional, not just in her faith but in her character.”

Tonya went on the trip with her youngest son , Conrad, who has down syndrome. She wanted her son to have the ultimate camp experience.

It was a great trip until Saturday afternoon. Police said the bus they were on crashed and flipped over on Keystone Avenue, near the Interstate 465 exit.

Tony and Tonya’s husband, Chuck, rushed to the scene.

“I remember going up and seeing people. There were 15 kids left. They were shuttling them to different ambulances,” said Grahn. “It was chaos.”

Tony couldn’t comprehend the chaos until the crowds began to clear. He then saw Pastor Phelps put his arm around Tonya’s husband.

“I saw them crying and I was trying to give them space. I got up close and saw he was sobbing and [I knew] there’s something going on here,” said Grahn.

Tonya’s two sons, Carl and Conrad, were rushed to the hospital. Both have been released and are expected to recover. Tonya’s daughter, Marta, was also on the trip. She was riding on another bus.

As their family and the church community struggle with why this happened, Tony is hoping everyone will look towards another question.

“Not the why, but the who. Who allowed this to happen? God allowed it to happen. We don’t know why. We’ll find out one day and we’ll wait for that time.”

Visitation for the Phelps will be held Friday, Aug. 2 from 3-7 p.m. A funeral will be held Saturday, Aug. 3 at 11 a.m. Both services will be held at Colonial Hills Baptist Church.

Visitation for Tonya Weindorf will be held Thursday, Aug. 1 from 3-7 p.m. A funeral will be held Friday, Aug. 2 at 10:30 a.m. Both services will also be held at Colonial Hills Baptist Church.

Additionally, memorials have been created in remembrance of the crash victims.

A YouCaring fundraiser has been created to support the Phelps’ 2-year-old son, Chase.

Colonial Hills Baptist church is also accepting donations.

Checks should be mailed to:
Colonial Hills Baptist Church
ATTN: Bus Accident Relief Fund
8140 Union Chapel Road
Indianapolis, IN 46240

Please make checks payable to Colonial Hills Baptist Church with “Bus Accident Relief Fund” in the memo line. Those wishing to donate can also specify which person they would like the money to be distributed to.

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