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Home > Topics > Fire-EMS

2 dead, 12 injured in fiery church van crash

A volunteer firefighter tried to assist but could only stand by as flames spread

SEYMOUR, Tenn — The close-knit family of parishioners at a small Blount County church are in shock after two of their members were killed and several others injured when their church van was struck head-on as it returned from a weekend youth retreat this morning.

Two adults and 11 middle and high school-age children were returning from a trip to Gatlinburg when their van was struck by a Chevy Blazer along northbound Chapman Highway in Sevier County, according to Wes Gibson, a youth group leader with Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Blount County.

"Somebody crossed the centerline and hit the van head-on, knocked it down an embankment," said Gibson. "And then the van caught fire."

Full story: 2 dead, 12 injured in fiery church van crash

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Karen Michele Wells-Lunsford Karen Michele Wells-Lunsford Wednesday, September 19, 2012 5:55:54 PM Please help us in Knox County signing a petition to get this road redesigned once and for all. It has cost many lives in the past and we need your help to get a jump on getting this done once and for all. Go to, search Chapman Hwy, sign the petition!

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