Tennessee man died in bus crash in Mexico; Family members injured

(WATE) - A Tennessee man was one of the victims of a cruise ship bus crash in Mexico on Tuesday. 

St. Mary Catholic Church told ABC affiliate WTVC that one of its parishioners, Bob Bever, died in the crash. 

Bever's wife and two daughters were injured in the crash and are in the hospital. The family is from Athens, Tennessee. 

The Bevers attended St. Mary Parish in Athens. Bishop Richard Stika of the Diocese of Knoxville released a statement Thursday:

“The St. Mary’s Parish family and many of us in the Diocese of Knoxville were saddened to hear about Mr. Bever’s unexpected and tragic death while on a family trip in Mexico this week. Bob was active in the Knights of Columbus, was an usher at his parish church in Athens, and was active in the Catholic Church in a variety of other ways.  I have asked our diocese to join me in praying for the recovery of Bob’s wife, Barbara, and his daughters Gina and Stephanie.”

Friends and loved ones describe Bob Bever as a wonderful man who was dedicated to his faith and helping the Knights of Columbus.

"That's what makes this a travesty. It's just so sad. He'll be greatly missed," said Bishop Stika.

Bishop Stika says Bob Bever also served in the military. 

"He was Special Forces and I used to always kid him about his service to the government and what he could do to me in a matter of seconds."

It's going to take time figuring out what's next for the family as their congregation waits for Barbara Bever and their daughters to come home.

"Christmas gives us the sense of hope and the one thing about faith is, it allows us to step in situations to assist others and that community is so close-knit, I'm sure they're going to circle the family with love and do what they can to help them," added Bishop Stika.

Twelve people died in the crash and around 20 people were injured. The Associated Press reported the passengers were from two Royal Caribbean Cruises ships.

A Mexican state prosecutor believes the crash was caused by the driver's negligence and speed. 

 


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