JEFFERSON COUNTY, TN -- John Wright, 73, of Mocksville was among the eight killed Wednesday when a bus carrying members of Front Street Baptist Church in Statesville collided with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 40 in Tennessee.
Wright's wife, Beverly, was seriously injured in the crash.
"The more you knew about him, the better you liked him," said John Wright's longtime neighbor Randall Ward. John and Beverly, a retired nurse, loved to travel and work in their church. "They had a strong, strong faith."
Ward says John loved sports and competed in the Senior Games in Raleigh.
Other deceased from Front Street Baptist Church include, Cloyce Matheny , 95, of Statevsville, Brenda Smith, 69, of Statesville, Marsha Mclelland, 62, of Statesville, Barbara Morrison, 66, of Statesville, Randy Morrison (the driver of the bus), 66, of Statesville.
The wreck happened around 2 p.m. Wednesday, when the bus carrying church members home blew the left front tire, crossed the grassy median of Interstate 40 in eastern Tennessee, clipped an SUV and collided with a tractor-trailer before overturning.
A passenger in the SUV, Trent Roberts, 24, of Knoxville, Tenn. was also killed.
Church officials plan to release more information about the victims and survivors Friday afternoon.