Investigation continues as family plans memorial services for victims of fatal car crash

Published: Friday, January 27, 2006 at 1:53 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 27, 2006 at 1:59 p.m.
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Loni Lilliston, 29, comforts her daughter Ammy Lilliston, 13, at the crash site while holding a cross in memory of the seven victims in Wednesday's Lake Butler bus crash Thursday, January 26, 2006. At left digging is Randy Proffitt. Lilliston said she's a second-cousin to Ashley Keen, one of the seven victims who were killed after the car they were riding in was rear ended by a semi and burst into flames.

DOUG FINGER/The Gainesville Sun
LAKE BUTLER- Teams of investigators on Friday were continuing to piece together evidence to learn what caused the Union County crash that killed seven children on Wednesday.
One of the Florida Highway Patrol's three teams was centering on inspections of the school bus, car and tractor-trailer that were involved in the crash on State Road 121 south of Lake Butler.
"We want to make sure that the mechanical features of each vehicle were operating correctly," said FHP spokesman Lt. Mike Burroughs.
He said reports that the tractor-trailer's horn was heard just before the crash, as claimed Thursday by one of the injured bus students, have not been confirmed by investigators.
A team from the National Transportation Safety Board is conducting a separate investigation into the accident.
"We will share information and resources with NTSB," Burroughs said. "But we work independently ... I have all the confidence in the world that we will be able to depict what happened in this crash."
While determining the cause of the crash continued, its aftermath prompted preparation for memorials and funeral services.
A candlelight memorial service for the seven children who died will be held at 7 tonight at Fellowship Baptist Church in Raiford. A church spokeswoman said the five children in the Mann family were active members of the church and its youth group.
The church is located on SR 121 about seven miles north of Lake Butler.
The funeral of William Edwin Scott will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Ochwilla Baptist Church near Melrose. Scott, 70, the grandfather of several of the children who died, collapsed and died of a heart attack Wednesday night after learning of their deaths.
The church is located on State Road 21 south of Melrose, across from Ochwilla Elementary School.
The funeral for Ashley Keen, 14, and Miranda Finn, 10, will be held Wednesday at 1 p.m., also at Ochwilla Baptist Church. Ashley Keen would have turned 15 on February 24.

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