Driver indicted in deadly church van crash

5:32 PM, Nov 7, 2012   |    comments
Tyler Schaeffer
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The man who was driving an SUV that slammed into a church van, killing two people and injuring close to a dozen others, is facing numerous charges related to the crash, including vehicular homicide.

On Monday, the Sevier County Grand Jury indicted Tyler James Schaeffer, 21, on 37 counts: two counts of vehicular homicide, two counts of reckless homicide, 20 counts of reckless aggravated assault, nine counts of vehicular assault, two drug charges, and a DUI.

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.

Schaeffer is being held in the Sevier County jail on a $2 million bond.  That is in addition to the $50,000 bond for some previous burglary charges.

District Attorney General James Dunn says Schaeffer has a court appearance scheduled for December 3.

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