Local News
4:50 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Memorial Service, Documentary Screening to Mark Carroll County Bus Crash Anniversary

Tuesday, May 14 marks the 25th anniversary of the deadliest drunk-driving crash in U.S. history.  

Twenty-seven members of a Radcliff church group, most of them children, were killed when their bus was struck by a pickup traveling in the wrong direction on Interstate 71 in Carroll County, Kentucky.

The group was returning home from an amusement park outing.

The anniversary will be marked with a memorial service, and the screening of a new documentary about the tragedy.

The documentary is called Impact: After the Crash.    In addition to the 27 fatalities, nearly three dozen others from the First Assembly of God Church were injured in the fiery collision.    

Co-producer Daniel Smith says there was understandable reluctance among some of the survivors and relatives of the deceased to relive that night for the film, but many chose to participate.   

"For the most part, and I mean overwhelmingly so, people saw this as a chance to honor the memories and the experiences of those who either survived or victims’ family members, a way to honor it than to exploit it," he said. 

The driver of the pickup, Larry Mahoney, served just over ten years in prison for manslaughter and other offenses.   He declined to participate in the documentary.

There will be a private screening of the film Tuesday for survivors and families.   A public showing the following day in Elizabethtown is sold out.          Smith and the other producers hope the film will be picked up national distribution or broadcast. 

Smith says the documentary is more than just a cautionary tale about the dangers of drunk driving.

"It’s about how do you deal with sort of a personal holocaust, how do you deal with your own life or the life of a loved one, when their word has, in an instant, been turned upside down?"