Skip to Content
Obtain the Counsel You Need & Deserve

Two Deaths in Church Van Accident

Do You Need Legal Advice?

Our firm can answer questions about your rights and the ability to file a personal injury claim during a free consultation. Contact our law firm to discuss your legal options with our Nashville personal injury attorney and his team.


If you grew up going to church, you can probably remember how much fun you had going on trips with the youth groups. It was a chance to see a new place, get to know each other and explore your faith. Unfortunately for some teenagers, a retreat for young Christians turned to tragedy when an SUV collided with the church van and killed two passengers on their way home.

It was a chaotic scene, according to witnesses. An SUV crossed the centerline and struck the van, which carried 13 passengers, most of them teenagers. The van rolled and slid down a steep hill on its roof, eventually landing upright. Other members of the Cedar Grove Baptist Church were following the van at the time, and many witnesses tried to save the driver and a passenger from the burning, smoking van. Youth director Jeffrey Trussell, 45, and Courtney Kaliszewski, 16, died in the fatal car accident. Several others required medical treatment for injuries.


Police found a “suspicious” substance in the 1997 Chevrolet Blazer that hit the van.

“There was this thing in the car that could be considered an illegal substance,” said Tennessee Highway Patrol Sgt. Randy Martin. “It’s a powdery substance that was found. It was in a container and was suspicious enough that it could be a drug.”

Tyler James Schaefer, 21, the driver of the SUV, was previously convicted for aggravated robbery charges.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and survivors of this tragic car accident. If you know of someone who suffered severe injuries, pain and suffering or wrongful death because of another driver’s negligence, call us today at (615) 866-3938 to schedule a free consultation.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10

The Law Office of Stanley A. Davis – Nashville car accident attorney

Share To: