3 killed when car hits MercyMe tour bus
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Two teenagers and an unborn baby were killed Aug. 8 when a car collided with a tour bus carrying the band MercyMe at an intersection in Fort Wayne, Ind.
MercyMe had wrapped up a concert in Fort Wayne, and around 1:15 a.m. their bus was traveling through a green light when a car in an oncoming lane attempted a left turn in front of the bus.
The driver, 18-year-old Kara Klinker, was nine months pregnant at the time, and her child was pronounced stillborn at a local hospital. The mother remains hospitalized in critical condition.
Two of the car's passengers, Dario Boutte, 19, and Barbara Schmucker, 17, died of blunt-force trauma, according to a report by the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel.
"MercyMe would like to express their incredible heartache over this horrible accident," Velvet Rousseau Kelm, the band's publicist, said in a statement Saturday. "They are praying for the families of all who this will affect, and are asking others to please pray as well.
"The band and crew sustained minor bumps and bruises, however their hearts are heavy," Kelm said. "They appreciate the concern they have received from people all over the world."
MercyMe was scheduled to perform Saturday night at a Six Flags theme park in St. Louis, but the show was rescheduled for Sept. 5. On Saturday, the group posted this short message on their blog: "Please join us in praying for the families of the car that hit our bus last night. Our hearts break for their families."
The group's tour resumed Aug. 10 at the Wisconsin State Fair.
Tragedy has hit MercyMe before. The 2004 single "Homesick" was written after the band lost eight people who were close to them in a period of less than six weeks.
"After everything we went through, I knew other people needed to hear it, needed some comfort," lead singer Bart Millard said of the song he wrote.
Even after the release of the song, the deaths kept coming.
"For whatever reason, God will not allow us to leave that season of helping people grieve. So I'll do it with great joy," Millard said.
Compiled by Baptist Press staff writer Erin Roach.