INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 30, 2015)– A man who was driving a church bus Tuesday on I-70 near Greenfield that crashed, causing the death of a 6-year-old boy, has been formally charged.
Charles Goodman, 53, now faces charges of reckless homicide, a level 5 felony, and driving while suspended, a class “A” misdemeanor.
If convicted, Goodman could face up to 6 years for the reckless homicide charge and 1 year for the driving while suspended charge.
Troopers say Goodman had been driving with a suspended license since 2007. He was also wanted in Lake County for not showing up to court.
Investigators believe Goodman is to blame for the deadly crash. Court documents show Goodman told police he fell asleep behind the wheel. A passenger told police “something was off” with him, and thought he might have been under the influence of drugs. Toxicology results have not been released.
Goodman allegedly has never had a valid Indiana driver’s license.
Jacob Williams, 6, was thrown from the bus and killed. Other church members were trapped underneath the bus. All 11 other people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Williams would have turned 7 next month.
The bus belonged to the bishop of St. Jude Deliverance Center, Lois Hill. Investigators say the bus wasn’t registered properly. Bishop Lois Hill told investigators she thought the bus ‘had suspension issues’ on the way down from Gary. Indiana State Police Inspectors checked the bus and didn’t find anything mechanically wrong with it.
Court records show since 1996, Goodman has been caught 17 times for either driving without a license or driving on a suspended license in Indiana and Illinois.
Goodman is expected to be arrested when he’s released from the hospital. At last check, he was listed in good condition.