Driver of SUV that hit church van in jail on unrelated charges

4:39 PM, Oct 23, 2012   |    comments
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The driver of an SUV that collided with a church van last month, killing two people and injuring ten others, is out of the hospital and in jail, though not on charges related to the crash.

According to Sevier County Sheriff on Seals, Tyler James Schaeffer was arrested on burglary charges after his release from UT Medical Center.  Seals said he believed that Schaeffer was also in violation of probation from other counties.

On September 16, investigators with the Tennessee Highway Patrol said Schaeffer, 21, was driving a Chevy Blazer that crossed the center line and slammed into a van carrying members of the Cedar Grove Baptist Church back to Blount County from a youth conference.

The two church members who died in the crash were 45-year-old Jeff Trussell of Maryville and 16-year-old Courteney Kaliszewski of Seymour. Trussell served as Youth Director at the church and was driving the van during the crash.

In the week after the crasch, officials with THP and the Tennessee Department of Safety said Monday that "charges are pending" against Schaeffer.

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