After surgeries Thursday morning, the Gainesville couple injured in a crash that demolished the front of their church’s van Wednesday afternoon in Kentucky are on the way to recovery.
Tim Moon, a member of Belmont Baptist Church in Gainesville, said Terry Taphouse, who was driving the church’s van as it collided with a transfer tractor-trailer on Highway 92 East near Williamsburg, Ky., had a broken femur, shattered kneecap and some broken ribs.
Tim Moon said Lois Taphouse, who was in the passenger’s seat, needed hip surgery Thursday morning and also suffered a broken ankle.
Both Terry Taphouse and Lois Taphouse have since come out of surgery and are sharing a double room at the University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington.
The Taphouse team was leading a 29-person mission group from Belmont Baptist. Most of the group members are teenagers.
Steve Moon, along with his wife and son, traveled Thursday morning to join the mission team and help the group continue its work in Kentucky’s Whitley County.
He said Lois Taphouse’s hip was back in place, but he said she would need additional surgery next week.
Terry Taphouse did not have to undergo a leg amputation, as was previously feared, and Steve Moon said he was in a stable condition.
Tim Moon said Terry Taphouse was still heavily sedated Thursday evening and will need additional surgeries. He said the family plans to be at the hospital for the next few weeks.
Bill Compton, senior pastor at Belmont Baptist, and Jeff Graham, the pastor at Mountain Creek Baptist Church in Pendergrass, drove to Lexington early Thursday morning.
“He went to help minister to the ones that are hurting and to see if they needed anything,” said Angie Graham, Jeff Graham’s wife.
The two oldest Taphouse children, both in college, arrived at the hospital around 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning, Steve Moon said.
The younger Taphouse children, Tracy Taphouse and Jenny Taphouse, are with the youth group.
But in the face of surgeries and worry, the youth group has continued its ministry.
“They’re definitely struggling with this,” Steve Moon said. “They’re in a little bit of shock, but we’re loving on them, and we’re there for them right now.”
He said some were sore and hurting this morning, but all were happy to still be able to serve the small Kentucky community.
And principals in the Whitley County schools are happy to have them there.
“It shows the tremendous faith they have and that they’re very dedicated to what they do,” said John Clifton, principal at Whitley County East Elementary. “We’ve had groups here before, but I don’t think we’ve ever had a group that our students bonded with so quickly.”
Thursday morning, the group traveled to Whitley County Middle School.
“All we were concerned about was their safety and their health,” said principal Rich Prewitt, even though he said he was grateful the group was able to come back.
“We knew that it was very, very serious, and we knew that some of the injuries could have been life threatening,” he said.
Steve Moon said the group is looking forward to the rest of the week, especially a youth rally taking place on Friday.
“They’re banged up; they’re beat up; but they’re happy to serve the Lord,” he said.