ATLANTA -- A college baseball player pulled from the
wreckage of his team's charter bus died of his injuries Friday,
raising the death toll from last week's crash to seven.
Zach Arend, 18, had been in critical condition since the bus
went off a highway overpass before dawn last Friday.
He died about 6 a.m., said Grady Memorial Hospital spokeswoman
Denise Simpson. Arend's grandmother, Ann Miller, had said the Ohio
teenager had suffered chest and abdominal injuries, a fractured
pelvis and collapsed lungs.
"He had a great sense of humor," said Mike Engler, a sophomore
who suffered minor injuries in the crash. "He got along with
Arend's parents, Dana and Caroline, wrote in a family statement
that he was a wonderful son. "He loved baseball, and he loved
being with his family and friends."
Four of Arend's Bluffton University teammates, the bus driver
and the driver's wife were killed when the bus plowed off an
overpass in Atlanta and crashed onto the Interstate 75 pavement
below. More than two dozen others aboard were injured.
The Ohio team's coach, James Grandey, was listed in stable
condition in the intensive care unit at Piedmont Hospital Friday.
Two players remained hospitalized at Grady Memorial, one in
critical condition and one in fair condition, Simpson said. Another
player was in stable condition at Atlanta Medical Center.
On Friday night, family and friends of sophomore David Betts
packed a gymnasium at Bryan High School for an emotional memorial
Wearing his son's Bluffton baseball jersey, John Betts told the
crowd that his son was a kind, big-hearted young man. He said his
son understood that it's not how long you live, but what you do
with your time that counts.
A private burial is scheduled for Saturday.
Investigators have said the driver apparently mistook an exit
ramp for a highway lane, continued along it without stopping at a
"T" intersection at the top of the ramp and then went over the
Team member Kyle King, talking to reporters from his hospital
room earlier this week, said most of the players were asleep when
he heard the bus driver's wife scream, the tires screech and the
bus hit the concrete barrier.
On Thursday, hundreds of mourners gathered in the Ohio towns of
Lima and Lewisburg for the funerals of his Bluffton teammates Tyler
Williams and Cody Holp, both 19.
Williams' cleats and glove rested among the flowers at
Philippian Missionary Baptist Church in Lima. Outside were pictures
from his life, many showing the outfielder in uniform.
"Tyler was already making a difference in this world,"
Bluffton President James Harder said. "A difference that will now
Sixty-five miles away in Lewisburg, mourners held copies of a
poem Holp had written that read: "I hope to change the world when
I die so when looked upon they say he was a good man."
"Cody wanted people to smile, so he started the contagion by
smiling all the time himself," the Rev. Mike Pratt said. "That's
what makes him so unforgettable and his legacy enduring."
The crash also killed the bus driver and his wife, Jerome and
Jean Niemeyer, and players David Betts and Scott Harmon.
The team had been scheduled to play Eastern Mennonite University
in Florida. Instead, players from the school in Bluffton, Ohio, attended memorial services.