TALLULAH, La. (BP)–Eight senior adults aboard a church bus were killed when it rammed into a parked tractor-trailer on Interstate 20 in eastern Louisiana the morning of Oct. 13.
The bus was from First Baptist Church in Eldorado, Texas, a town of 2,000 about 190 miles northwest of San Antonio.
It was eastbound on Interstate 20 near Tallulah, La., between Monroe and Vicksburg, Miss., when it struck the tractor-trailer, which was loaded with raw cotton. According to Fox News, the truck driver had pulled to the side because of brake problems while the bus driver reportedly fell asleep at the wheel.
According to news reports, 15 seniors were aboard the full-size bus which had embarked on a 16-day trip for such stops as the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
Andy Anderson, pastor of the Eldorado church, told the media after the crash, “All of the people [who were killed] were Christians. They are now home.”
The pastor of First Baptist Church in Tallulah, John Rushing, was at the local Madison Parish Hospital the afternoon of Oct. 13 ministering to several crash victims. Several others, meanwhile, had been taken to Vicksburg, where the closest major trauma center is at River Regional Medical Center, CNN reported.
CNN reported that Bert Bryant, publisher of the Madison Journal in Tallulah, had been at the scene. “They had to take the ‘Jaws of Life,’ and they were in the process of trying to cut them out,” CNN quoted Bryant as saying of those aboard the bus.