Coroner: Driver in fatal school bus crash suffered heart attack

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The driver of the Indianapolis Lighthouse Charter School that crashed into an east side bridge in March suffered from a heart attack prior to the accident.

The Marion County Coroner’s Office said Thomas Spencer, 60, died from multiple blunt force injuries due to the crash, which occurred after he had the heart attack.

The coroner said there were contributing factors to his heart attack, including hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, adult onset diabetes mellitus, peripheral vascular disease and obesity. 

Spencer crashed into a bridge in the 900 block of S. Emerson Avenue on the morning of March 12.  Police said the bus crashed into the beam that supports the train track on the bridge. Spencer and 5-year-old Donasty Smith, who was sitting in the front of the bus, were killed in the accident.

Fox59 was told approximately 50 people were on the bus. Four people had to be extricated from the vehicle, and several students were transported to the hospital.  One of those students was 7-year-old Edward Tindall, who was sitting behind the driver. 

Tindall was ejected from the bus and hit a cement pillar. His left leg had to be amputated, before he was airlifted to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Heath. 

Fox59 profiled the young boy, who has made remarkable progress since the accident.

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