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One victim of church van crash remains in hospital | Community Spirit

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One victim of church van crash remains in hospital
One victim of church van crash remains in hospital

Only one victim of a fatal church van crash remains in the hospital.

According to Cedar Grove Baptist Church Pastor Bob Lynch, of the remaining two church members in the hospital, one has been discharged and the other has been moved out of intensive care.

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Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Blount County has started the process of healing, although the shock of the accident remains, according to Pastor Bob Lynch. 

Lynch told 10News Tuesday morning that two youth group members remain hospitalized at UT Medical Center.  That is down from four who were still there on Monday, and another patient at East Tennessee Children's Hospital. 

Lynch said one of the two teens still at UT Medical Center is in ICU.  Their condition is "guarded," according to Lynch, but not life threatening.  The other teen could be released sometime Tuesday afternoon, Lynch said.

Lynch also said Cedar Grove Baptist Church held a prayer meeting Monday Night. He said all of the kids who were on the youth group retreat over the weekend, including the crash victims who had been in the hospital but have been released, were there.  He said many other community members, members of other local churches, and members of the Cedar Grove church community were in attendance.  Lynch called the meeting a "good healing" experience for everyone.

The church youth group was involved in a fiery accident on Sunday morning while they were driving back to Blount County from a retreat in Gatlinburg.  An SUV driven by Maryville resident, Tyler Schaeffer, 21, crossed the center line on Chapman Highway near Zion Hill Church Road and hit the church van head-on. 

The impact flipped the van, which eventually caught fire.  The van's driver, Cedar Grove Baptist Youth Director Jeff Trussell, 45, and 16 year-old passenger Courteney Kaliszewski died in the crash.

Lynch said a funeral for Jeff Trussell is scheduled for Friday, September 21.  The service begins at 6:30pm at Cedar Grove Baptist Chruch.  Lynch said everyone is welcome to help remember Trussell.

Courteney Kaliszweski's family will receive friends at Atchley's Funeral Home in Seymour on Wednesday from 4:00- 8:00pm.
The funeral will be held at 1:00pm on Thursday at the funeral home.   Burial will follow at the Cedar Grove Cemetery.

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