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Families of church van crash victims file lawsuits

1:03 PM, Oct 25, 2012   |    comments
  • Jeff Trussell
  • Courtney Kaliszewski
    
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The families of two church members killed in a violent crash last month have filed separate lawsuits against the man who was driving the SUV that slammed into them.

Jeffery Trussell was driving the van and 16-year-old Courtney Kaliszewski was a passenger when the accident happened.  Investigators say a vehicle driven by Tyler James Schaeffer crossed the center line on Chapman Highway in Seymour, running the van off the road, where it caught fire.

This week, Kaliszewski's parents and Trussell's widow filed the lawsuits against Schaeffer, saying he was negligent in their deaths.  They ask for a jury to hear the case and award them appropriate damages.

Schaeffer was released from the hospital this week.  He was arrested on burglary charges and is in the Sevier County jail.  THP says charges related to the crash are pending.

 The group from Cedar Grove Baptist Church was returning to Blount County from a youth retreat in Gatlinburg when the accident happened.  Ten others were injured in the accident.

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