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Most victims of Tennessee bus crash identified

Published On: Dec 24 2013 09:41:16 AM EST   Updated On: Oct 03 2013 04:35:40 PM EDT
Eight killed in Tennessee bus crash


DANDRIDGE, Tenn. (AP) -- -

The Tennessee Highway Patrol has identified seven of the eight people killed in a fiery bus crash on Interstate 40 on Wednesday.

Six of the dead were members of the Front Street Baptist Church in Statesville, N.C. They include the bus driver, Randy Morrison, and his wife, Barbara Morrison.

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

The Highway Patrol says the bus veered across the median and into oncoming traffic after a tire blew out, hitting a sport utility vehicle and a tractor-trailer, which caught fire.

One person in the sport utility vehicle, Trent Roberts of Knoxville, was killed.

The driver of the tractor-trailer also was killed but has not yet been identified.


The Tennessee Highway Patrol says it could take a couple of days before troopers release the names of the eight people who died in a fiery bus crash.

THP Sgt. Bill Miller said Thursday morning that positive identification of the victims would be difficult because some were burned. He said a forensic team expected to use dental records to identify some victims.

A North Carolina church bus blew a tire while traveling home on Interstate 40 on Wednesday, veered across a highway median and crashed into a sport utility vehicle and tractor-trailer. Fourteen people were injured in the crash.

Miller said they were still trying to figure out who was driving bus and therefore couldn't answer questions about the driver's history. He said the agency's investigation would include looking at who was driving the bus and the vehicle's service records.

N.C. man: Brother among dead in bus crash

STATESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A Statesville man says his brother is one of eight people killed in the fiery bus crash in Tennessee.

Jerry Wright said Thursday his 73-year-old brother, John Wright, died in the wreck Wednesday. Wright said his sister-in-law, Beverly Wright, was seriously injured.

Jerry Wright said Wednesday he feared his brother was driving the bus. He said Thursday someone else was driving and his brother and sister-in-law were sitting together when the bus blew a tire, ran across Interstate 40 and hit a sports utility vehicle and a tractor-trailer.

He called his brother a good man who had been a member of Front Street Baptist Church for 50 years and had been a deacon.

Wright said the death was like a dream where you wake up and discover it is true.