Bus crash survivors anxiously awaiting final accident report - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Bus crash survivors anxiously awaiting final accident report


The Tennessee Highway Patrol will release the final accident report of a fatal bus crash in Jefferson County that killed eight people on Monday. The bus was traveling home to Front Street Baptist Church in Statesville. Those who survived the crash are anxious to read the reports' findings and take steps toward closure.

Next week it mark seven months since six members of the church were killed in that bus crash.

"I want answers," said Sandra Boyer on Sunday just before worship service.

Boyer and other survivors of the accident say it's impossible not to think about the crash and those they lost on a daily basis.

"There are a lot of things that will trigger my emotions," said Boyer. 

One of those things is finding out exactly what lead to the accident.

"We're all just hoping that it comes back that it was simply just a tire failure," said Beverly Wright, another bus crash survivor. 

Wright and the rest of the crash survivors are anxiously awaiting the release of the information. They believe the result will be a blown tire instead of driver error.

Bus driver, Randy Morrison, and his wife, Barbara Morrison were killed in the crash.

Other victims from the church were Cloyce Matheny, Brenda Smith, Marsha McLelland and John Wright. All are from Statesville except Wright, who is from Mocksville.

"If I thought he wasn't a good driver I wouldn't have gotten on the bus," said Steve Swaim.

Swaim hopes no fingers are pointed at Morrison in the accident report.

Twelve church members were injured in the crash last October on Interstate 40.  The group was returning from the 17th Annual Fall Jubilee at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.

"What I'm looking for is closure and everything will work out for the best possibility for everyone concerned," said Benny Elledge.

Elledge and his wife Libby survived the crash. They say they've come to terms with the accident but still hurts when they see empty seats during Sunday worship that used to belong to friends.

Tennessee Highway Patrol are scheduled to hold a press conference at 11 a.m. on Monday. Even if most of the accident questions are answered at that time, there other questions that the report won't answer like the guilt of being a survivor.

"I wonder why I wasn't injured more than anyone else," said Brenda Jolly. "I wonder why..."

The Front Street Baptist Church crash survivors have met together as a group twice for grief sessions since the accident.

They say their next meeting will most likely be focused entirely on the final accident report issued by the Tennessee Highway Patrol Monday.

During the initial investigation, troopers said the bus veered across the median and into oncoming traffic after a tire blew out, hitting an SUV and a tractor-trailer, which caught fire.

The driver of the SUV and tractor-trailer also died at the scene of the crash.

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