Another player dies after bus wreck
ATLANTA – A college baseball player pulled from the wreckage of his team’s charter bus died of his injuries Friday, raising the death toll from last week’s crash to seven.Zach Arend, 18, had been in critical condition since the bus went off a highway overpass before dawn last Friday.He died about 6 a.m., said Grady Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Denise Simpson. Arend’s grandmother, Ann Miller, had said the Ohio teenager had suffered chest and abdominal injuries, a fractured pelvis and collapsed lungs.”He had a great sense of humor,” said Mike Engler, a sophomore who suffered minor injuries in the crash. “He got along with everybody.”Arend’s parents, Dana and Caroline, wrote in a family statement that he was a wonderful son. “He loved baseball, and he loved being with his family and friends.”Four of Arend’s Bluffton University teammates, the bus driver and the driver’s wife were killed when the bus plowed off an overpass in Atlanta and crashed onto the Interstate 75 pavement below. More than two dozen others aboard were injured.The Ohio team’s coach, James Grandey, was listed in stable condition in the intensive care unit at Piedmont Hospital Friday. Two players remained hospitalized at Grady Memorial, one in critical condition and one in fair condition, Simpson said. Another player was in stable condition at Atlanta Medical Center.On Friday night, family and friends of sophomore David Betts packed a gymnasium at Bryan High School in Ohio for an emotional memorial service.Wearing his son’s Bluffton baseball jersey, John Betts told the crowd that his son was a kind, big-hearted young man. He said his son understood that it’s not how long you live, but what you do with your time that counts.A private burial is scheduled for Saturday.Investigators have said the driver apparently mistook an exit ramp for a highway lane, continued along it without stopping at a “T” intersection at the top of the ramp and then went over the edge.Team member Kyle King, talking to reporters from his hospital room earlier this week, said most of the players were asleep when he heard the bus driver’s wife scream, the tires screech and the bus hit the concrete barrier.The crash also killed the bus driver and his wife, Jerome and Jean Niemeyer, and players Scott Harmon, Tyler Williams and Cody Holp. Arend had been a pitcher at Paulding High School, a small school in rural northwest Ohio.The team had been scheduled to play Eastern Mennonite University in Florida. Instead, players from the school in Harrisonburg, Va., attended a memorial service.