Kentucky church bus crash kills one, injures four
Linda Stem, 82, a widow who relied on the bus for her ride to and from worship, was pronounced dead at the scene from blunt injuries sustained in the crash. Josh Ketchum, minister at Seven Oaks, said the others on board– one woman and four men – were treated for cuts and related injuries. Two remain hospitalized.
“We are truly saddened by (Linda’s) death,” Ketchum said of the 300-member congregation, located in the southwest corner of the state.
Regularly scheduled worship was canceled Sunday when members traveling to the building observed the crash scene and informed church leaders what had happened. Ketchum and others drove to the intersection of Highways 121 and 97 – just a few hundred yards from the building – and received a report from emergency responders.
Witnesses said a large sport-utility vehicle failed to stop for a red light, plowing through the intersection and into the church bus. Ketchum said the Chevy Suburban was driven by a family who had spent the day at a nearby lake and was returning home.
Prayers for Stem’s family, those who had been transported to an area hospital and for the occupants of the other vehicle were offered by Seven Oaks members assembled at the building. Another prayer service is scheduled for tonight at 6:30.
“Linda was a very active elderly person in our congregation,” said longtime member Shelia Foy. “She came to all the activities that she possibly could and was always concerned about people she could help.”
Stem was at worship that morning, Foy said, and was one of 10 or so elderly members who depend on volunteer drivers and the congregation’s 26-passenger bus for a ride to worship.
Foy said Mayfield is a small, working community with several Churches of Christ in the area. “We’ve never experienced a tragedy quite like this, but we know we can get through it with prayer.”
Services for Stem are planned for Tuesday afternoon.