08162017Headline:

Sandusky, Ohio

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Dale Emch
Dale Emch
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Southwest of Sandusky, Ohio, Bluffton University mourns following tragic accident

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About an 90 miles southwest of Sandusky, Ohio, the Bluffton University community is mourning four baseball players who died in a tragic traffic accident Friday morning in Atlanta.

The team was traveling to Sarasota, Fla., to start its season when the team bus failed to make a turn on an exit ramp and flipped over a retaining rail on to I-75. The crash also killed the bus driver and his wife.

To get a sense of the devastation felt by the Bluffton University community, link to the Toledo Blade’s online edition, which has numerous stories about the accident. Here’s just a small sampling of the newspaper’s coverage:

Amid the heartbreaking loss of four of its own, the rolling campus of Bluffton University was strangely at peace yesterday.

As more than 1,000 students, faculty, and community members filed into Burcky Gym for a campus meeting and prayer service, the silence was deafening.

They waited and they prayed and they listened for news that perhaps the morning bus crash involving the school’s baseball team wasn’t as bad as they’d feared. They gathered silently and hopefully around television screens as news of the crash was broadcast from Atlanta.

But by late afternoon, it was official: Bluffton students Tyler Williams, David Betts, Scott Harmon, and Cody Holp had died from their injuries. Seven others were seriously hurt. The bus driver and his wife, Jerome and Jean Niemeyer of nearby Columbus Grove, also were killed in the crash.

Whether students knew the victims personally or just saw them around campus, it was a devastating loss.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones in this terrible accident.