***UPDATED at 5:30 P.M. on Friday, June 12th***
A bus accident has left several young church members from Barnwell, South Carolina injured. That accident happened near Cleveland, Tennessee.
Fourteen members of the youth group at Hagood Avenue Baptist Church, as well as the driver, were injured in the accident. While none of those injuries are considered serious, it meant for some anxious moments for their loved ones back in Barnwell.
Greg Rosier’s granddaughter was one of the youth group members from Hagood Avenue Baptist Church on a mission trip to Tennessee. Rosier says the group left last Saturday, and early Friday morning, she called her family to let them know they were on their way back. Twenty minutes later, her family got another call from her phone.
“It was her phone, my granddaughter’s phone, but it wasn’t her talking on it. One of the leaders said that they had been in a wreck and she said that she got bumped up and was complaining of her neck hurting and there was a couple of them that they thought were injured,” said Rosier.
Police say all of the students, as well as the driver, were taken to Sky Ridge Medical Center in nearby Chattanooga, but none of them were seriously hurt. Rosier says he was told the injuries consisted of cuts, bruising and some broken bones.
“I’ve heard so many tales, well a lot of reports about buses having wrecks like that and I worry about them when they start talking about doing things like that,” Rosier said.
According to Pastor Kenneth Catoe the group was on its way back to Barnwell when the bus slipped off the road, tried to get back on and hit the drain culvert.
“I just hope and pray that all of them.. no serious injuries. All of them make it home safe. Well I know a lot of family members are on their way up there now too, because they are worried about their children and I hope they make it up there and back safely,” Rosier added.
Many parents are driving to Tennessee to reunite with their children and a bus provided by the 1st Baptist Church of Barnwell is going to pick up the group, who will return home once everybody is released from the hospital.
***UPDATED at 1:52 P.M. on Friday, June 12th***
Cleveland, TN – We have learned more information on a bus crash in Cleveland, Tennessee involving a church group from Barnwell, South Carolina.
The group from Hagood Avenue Baptist Church was in Tennessee on a mission trip to repair homes for residents. The group builds ramps, does roof repairs, paints home, and other improvement jobs.
Parents of teens on the bus say the driver was Marshall Smith.
Some parents are heading to Tennessee to be with, and check on, their children. There were no serious injuries in the crash, according to police in Cleveland, Tennessee.
***POSTED at 10:05 A.M. on Friday, June 12th***
Cleveland, TN – The Cleveland (Tennessee) Police Department tells WTVC News Channel 9, in Cleveland, that 17 passengers of a church bus, including the driver, have been taken to Skyridge Hospital after an accident.
The accident happened Friday morning on Interlacklin Circle and Freewill Road. Cleveland Police Spokeswoman Evie West says the bus was from South Carolina.
West says a small passenger bus from Barnwell, South Carolina was heading north of Freewill Road when the bus left the roadway and came to a halt upon hitting a drain culvert.
The driver and sixteen juvenile passengers were all injured and transported to SkyRidge Medical Center by EMS, personal vehicles and a SETHRA bus, which assisted during this time of need.
Six of the passengers are being treated and the remaining eleven passengers will be evaluated. The group was in Cleveland, TN on a week-long missions trip. This is a developing story. Depend on us to bring you more details as we get them.