Church honors members lost on van crash anniversary

Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Maryville is remembering two of their own that lost their lives in a church van crash last year.

One year ago Monday, a Chevy SUV driven by 21-year-old Tyler James Schaeffer of Seymour hit the Cedar Grove Baptist Church van.

The Cedar Grove youth group was traveling back to church on that Sunday morning, September 16, 2012, from a youth retreat in Gatlinburg.

Forty-five-year-old Jeff Trussell of Maryville and 16-year-old Courteney Kaliszewski of Seymour lost their lives in the accident. Ten others were injured.

Trussell served as Youth Director at the church. He was driving the van during the crash when the SUV swerved into his lane and hit the church van head on.

Sunday morning, the church honored them by ringing bells at 9:26 a.m. for Jeff and Courteney and 9:32 a.m. for the others on the van followed by a special worship service.

The church is sponsoring the "Hold on and Be Strong" 5K race at 3:00 p.m. at the church on Nails Creek Road in Maryville. Registration begins at 1:30 p.m.

At 6:30 p.m. Sunday night, they will release balloons at Jeff and Courteney's graves.

10News will bring you coverage of those events on 10News at 6:00 and 11:00.


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