Skip to comments.7 killed in I-35 bus crash: 5 on bus from Memorial Baptist in Temple; nearly 30 injured
Posted on 02/17/2003 8:50:57 AM PST by paulklenk
HEWITT Seven people died about 10 a.m. Friday on Interstate 35 in Hewitt when a bus carrying a group from Memorial Baptist Church in Temple swerved into oncoming traffic and smashed into a sport utility vehicle. Five people on the bus and two in the SUV died, said Tom Vinger of the Texas Department of Public Safety. The chartered bus was taking 34 people to a matinee concert by gospel singer Bill Gaither at Reunion Arena in Dallas. The names of the five bus passengers who died, released by a DPS officer at a press conference at the church, are Delores Hinton, 72; Melvin Akers, 76; Mildred Speedie Akers, 72; Jo Freeman, 70; and Martha McKee, 78; all of Temple. The two who died in the Chevrolet Tahoe were Janice Roberson, 61, and Brenda Doblebower, 48, both of Waco, said a DPS spokesman Friday night. Another passenger, Donnie Hagan 52, was injured and taken to a hospital. His condition was listed as very critical in the intensive care unit at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco. The three in the SUV worked in the McLennan Community College health careers department and were traveling to Temple College for a meeting, Kim Patterson, a college spokeswoman said.
God was not caught by surprise
God was not caught by surprise. That accident was something He was aware of, the Rev. Roy Parker, pastor of Memorial Baptist Church in Temple told worshippers at a memorial service Friday night. I want to assure you, we have not lost them (the victims). They are in Heaven. Parkers words of comfort were directed to residents of Temple, Belton and surrounding communities who gathered at Memorial Baptist to pray and support the victims and families of a bus accident that claimed the lives of seven people Friday morning on Interstate 35 in Hewitt. A number of people from the area spoke during the memorial service, offering prayers and quoting scriptures from the Psalms, Isaiah and others. Dick Stafford, a church deacon, opened the service with a scripture and after giving thanks to the Temple community, he led the congregation in prayer. Parker thanked the media, community, the police department and the emergency crews for their courtesy and efforts during the accident aftermath.
By Laurencia Smith
Memorial Baptist Church, hit Friday with tragedy after five of its members died in a bus crash near Waco, became a haven in an aftermath of shock and devastation. The day at the Temple church included prayer, teary eyes and waiting to find out the condition of those injured in the accident. Most of the 34 bus passengers were church members and 65-years-old or older. They were traveling to a Bill Gaither concert in the Dallas area. The Rev. Roy Parker, Memorial Baptist Church pastor, said Friday that family members faced devastation as well as broken hearts. I think we are still in the state of shock, he said. Parker said church members who died were sweet, loving and precious people, who were well known and respected. Those church members who died in the accident were Delores Hinton, Melvin Akers, Speedie Akers, Jo Freeman and Martha McKee.
By Jake Long
Members and friends of Memorial Baptist Church met from 2-4 p.m. Saturday for mutual encouragement and to hear of plans for a week of counseling opportunities. Five members of the church died in a bus-car collision on Interstate 35 in Hewitt, during a Friday morning rainstorm. Most of the 34 bus passengers listed by the Texas Department of Public Safety were members of Memorial. They were headed to Dallas for a gospel concert. The northbound bus slowed for traffic backed up by another accident, swerved across the median and hit a southbound 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe head-on, according to the DPS traffic report. A reconstruction of the accident by the DPS and a National Transportation Safety Board team was incomplete Saturday. Cpl. Charlie Morgan, public information officer for the Waco DPS office, said he does not expect a final report on the accident until midweek. Also dying in that accident were two McLennan County College administrators, who were riding in the Tahoe. A third MCC administrator, Donnie Hagan, 52, of Waco, remained in intensive care at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco on Saturday, but had improved to serious condition, said the nursing supervisor. A condition report released by Michael Wright of Mid-Tex American Red Cross on Saturday showed three people who were passengers on the bus, Dwain Marshall, Mary Burrows and Shirley Sommer, in critical condition at Hillcrest. Three others, Wayne Beasley, Maxine Haynes and Karen Kuryla, were in serious condition at Hillcrest. Four were in stable condition at Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple. The list of bus passengers who have been treated and released has now grown to 16.
Larry Causey/The Associated Press