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7 Dead in Church Bus Crash

May 3, 1999

MAYHILL, N.M. (AP) _ A spare tire apparently fell Sunday from a truck and smashed into a bus ferrying students from a church camp to their homes in Texas, killing seven people, state police said.

``It just slid and just smashed into the bus,″ said Julie Selleck, who works at Pine Springs Summer Camp. ``It’s pretty devastating.″

About 80 people from Green Lawn Church of Christ in Lubbock, Texas, had been at the isolated, mountainous camp in the Lincoln National Forest for a weekend retreat, Selleck said.

The 2 p.m. crash on U.S. 82 involved reportedly a semi-trailer, a motor home and the church bus, but that was not immediately confirmed, state police spokesman Robert Smoot said.

In addition to those killed, one person was in critical condition, five were in serious condition and 19 were in stable condition at a Alamogordo and Albuquerque hospitals, Selleck said.

Mayhill is about 150 miles southeast of Albuquerque.

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