Hundreds gather to remember Biloxi bus crash victims

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.


BILOXI, Miss. — Hundreds gathered in Biloxi, Mississippi Sunday evening to remember the four people tragically killed after their tour bus was hit by a train last week.

“I just want you to know that on behalf of Austin, on behalf of my family, we really do appreciate everything you did, Every person you saved. Every person you bandaged up. Every person you took to the hospital,” said a member of Deborah Orr’s family.

Orr was one of the four who were killed in the accident.

According to reports, the group from Texas was on a week-long trip to Mississippi and Louisiana when their bus stalled on the tracks. Passengers were being unloaded when the train hit the bus.

Seven passengers were critically injured and 41 others were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment.

Peggy Hoffman, her husband, Ken Hoffman, and Clinton Havran were also killed, CNN reported.

Sunday evening, Orr’s sister was at the vigil.

“My heart is broken but there’s a lot of love in my heart too. My sister was really, really special, and it’s really nice that these people are coming out and caring. My family is far from home right now. So, the fact that they’re there and honoring her – thank you very much,” she said.

Because Orr was a member of the Bastrop, Texas Red Hat Society, red hats were made part of her tribute.

Mary Lucas was her friend and a passenger on the bus.

“I came here to celebrate Debbie’s life. She was a friend of mine, and she was very vivacious and I’m just so sorry that she’s gone. I saw her and I want to remember her as she was.”

“That day I was 10 minutes late. At the exact same time, the train was about 30 seconds from that bus.”

John Kemp helped save some of the victims. He said he needed the vigil as much as anyone.

“Part of the healing process was basically writing this moment down and maybe finding a nice spot and actually burning what I wrote down. In other words, to erase the memory. Cause I can’t shake the images.”

The crash is still officially under investigation