The wreck on a Tennessee stretch of I-40 that killed 8 and injured 14 on Wednesday, is on its way to becoming just a horrific memory for friends of the seniors that were on the church bus, now that clean up is complete. The Front Street Baptist Church in Statesville, N.C. is trying to pick up the pieces after the unthinkable tragedy.
Inside the church today, people were crying and hugging each other, according to the Clarion Ledger. One woman whispered “It’s going to be all right” while hugging another woman. A service took place Wednesday night.
As the investigation continues, the people of this small church are doing their best to comfort each other. They lean on their faith to help them get through these hard times. They began gathering at the church right after news broke that their bus, carrying a senior group known as Young at Heart, had been in an accident.
George Stadfeld, who has been a member of the church for eight years, said he knew everyone on the bus. “We’re all shaken,” he said. “As bad as it is, they’re all Christians and I know where they’re at. I’ll join them later.”
Jerry Wright said his brother, John, 73, and John’s wife were on the bus. He thinks his brother may have been driving the church bus since he had driven it in the past. A blown front tire is what police think caused the accident.
“If he was driving, it’s going to be bad,” said Jerry Wright, 71. “I’ve been trying to ring them. I’ve been calling their phone, but it keeps ringing and ringing and ringing.”
Fortunately, Jerry, George and all the members at Front Street Baptist Church have each other to turn to, as well as the community of Statesville for many shoulders to cry on. Brady Johnson, superintendent of the Iredell County-Statesville City Schools, said, “It hits the community as a whole when tragedy strikes. The whole community comes together.”
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