Report due today on Statesville church bus crash

Observer Staff ReportsApril 28, 2014 

— The Tennessee Highway Patrol is scheduled to issue a final report Monday morning on the October crash that killed eight people, including four from a Statesville church.

Highway Patrol oficials have called a news conference for 11 a.m. in Knoxville, where they are expected to discuss the cause of the crash on Interstate 40 in eastern Tennessee.

The crash involved a tour bus carrying members of Front Street Baptist Church. The group was headed home after attending the Fall Jubilee at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.

Troopers said the bus was eastbound near mile marker 423 when it crossed the median, struck and SUV, and then slammed into a tractor-trailer. The driver of the truck and a passenger in the SUV were killed.

The crash also claimed the lives of the bus driver, Randy Morrison, and his wife, Barbara Morrison. Also killed on the bus were church members Cloyce Matheny, Marsha McLelland, Brenda Smith and John Wright.

A preliminary report issued last fall said the bus apparently blew a front tire before it crossed the median.

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