GREENFIELD, Ind. (July 28, 2015/Updated July 29, 2015)— A child has died and several other people were injured after a small church bus caught fire on Interstate 70 just east of Greenfield Tuesday.
Hancock County officials say 12 people were riding in the bus when the vehicle overturned, trapping people inside. State Police say the bus went off the roadway, hit a tree, spun and then flipped. When emergency crews arrived, the fire was out.
Greenfield Fire Department fire chief James Roberts said 6-year-old Jacob Williams was killed in the accident.
IU Health officials confirmed two adult patients were taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital. Three patients were taken to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. All patients were listed in fair condition. Other patients were reported to be transported to Hancock Regional Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The driver, 53-year-old Charles Goodman, was driving with a suspended license. Goodman had an active warrant in Lake County for failing to appear in court for a traffic offense. He was ejected from the vehicle and pinned under the bus. He was alert and conscious at the scene and taken to the hospital via Lifeline. He is currently being treated at Methodist Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. As of Wednesday, two adults remained at Methodist in fair condition and one child was still at Riley Hospital in good condition.
Indiana State Police said the bus should have had a USDOT registration number since it was traveling outside of Indiana, but it did not. Police said the 1999 F-450 Econoline 15-passenger bus was subject to USDOT regulations. An inspection of the bus began at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Authorities said those results would be made part of the crash report investigation.
The bus was from a church in Gary called St. Jude Deliverance Family Worship. They were headed to Dayton, Ohio for a convention.
All I-70 eastbound lanes near mile marker 107 in Greenfield were closed for several hours.