UPDATE: Church bus crash report could take months, final name released


Church Bus Fatalities
Cloyce Matheny (M), 95, Statesville, N.C.
Brenda Smith, 69, Statesville, N.C.
Marsha Mclelland, 62, Statesville, N.C. (wife of injured Ed Mclelland)
Barbara Morrison, 66, Statesville, N.C. (wife of Randy Morrison)
Randy Morrison (Driver), 66, Statesville, N.C. (husband of Barbara Morrison)
John Wright, 73, Mocksville, N.C.

Church Bus Injuries
Thomas L. Smith, 74, Statesville, N.C.
Joanna L. Elledge, 70, Statesville, N.C.
Benny Elledge, 72, Statesville, N.C.
Sandra Boyer, 67, Statesville, N.C.
Marvin Boyer, 74, Statesville, N.C.
Doris Swaim, 68, Statesville, N.C.
Steven Swaim, 68, Statesville, N.C.
Norma J. Hellard, 78, Statesville, N.C.
Beverly Wright, 62, Mocksville, N.C.
Brenda Jolly, 70, Statesville, N.C.
Wanda Martin, 63, Statesville, N.C.
Ed Mclelland, 64, Statesville, N.C. (husband of deceased Marsha Mclelland)

Chevrolet Tahoe Fatality
Trent Roberts (rear passenger), 24, Knoxville, Tenn.
Local8News' Lauren Davis spoke with Roberts' families
Click here for story

Chevrolet Tahoe Injuries
Tim Wacker (front passenger), 28, Knoxville, Tenn.
Jordan D. Payne (M) (Driver), 24, Knoxville, Tenn.

Tractor trailor fatality
Mose Farmer, 66, New Orleans, La.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Troopers brought the church bus, tractor trailer and the SUV involved in the deadly wreck to the Newport TDOT lot while they continue their investigation, trying to reconstruct the crash.

It will be a lengthy investigation, as the wreck is the worst many troopers and first responders said they've ever seen. In all, 8 people died and 14 were injured. (See full list of names in sidebar) THP released the names of seven of the victims on Thursday. The final name, Mose Farmer, who was driving the semi, was released late Friday morning.

"At first, it was a numbing shock and then you realize, you've got to get to work," said John Holland, a paramedic with Jefferson County EMS.

Troopers will look at the bus' maintenance records and determine if it had mechanical issues. They said right now, it appears the left front tire malfunctioned, causing the bus driver to lose control.

"The bus came across the median and struck the Tahoe first, in the right rear corner of the drivers side and then was redirectred towards the tractor trailer," said Sergeant Bill Miller, with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

While it's still unclear whether speed was a factor, troopers said the bus had 18 people on board - a lot less than capacity. All were over 60 and some were trapped inside.

"It's very difficult, and we see a lot of thigs most human eyes are not supposed to see," said Holland.

Despite everything they see, first responders do have a system in place for dealing with tragedy. It's called the Critical Stress Debriefing Team, where trained counselors talk with crews about what they saw and are going through .

More than 20 agencies responded to the crash. Good Samaritans also played a critical role, holding hands and helping first responders.

"We put them to work - if it was just simply carrying something out of the ambulance to us, helping us carry patients away from the scene," said Holland.

"We just want to thank them for all of their assistance - we couldn't have done it without everyone else's help," said Brad Phillips, Director of the Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency.

Troopers said there's still a lot of work to be done. They say the initial crash report could be finished as early as next week, while the complete report might take six months.


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