May 14, 1988: From Park Fun to Roadway Tragedy

May 14, 2013

Some of the students who went to King's Island on May 14, 1988 at the theme park. From left, Monica Obregon, Emillie Thompson, Carey Aurentz and Ciaran Foran. In the back is Allen Tennison. Thompson was one of the 27 people who died in the crash.
Credit Photo courtesy of Carey Aurentz Cummins

It wasn’t until a few days before the trip to King’s Island north of Cincinnati that Jerry and Jeff Wheeler knew for certain they would be allowed to attend. “I remember begging mom to let us go,” said Jerry Wheeler. “I wanted to go to maybe meet some new people. It was a really fun day leading up to what happened on the way home.”  What happened on the way home, 25 years later, still cuts its survivors to the core. Family members, friends and their communities were — and still are — stricken irrevocably with heartbreak stemming from the Radcliff First Assembly of God bus crash that May night in 1988. “It still doesn’t seem real that something like that could happen,” Quinton Higgins said. “It was a day of a lot of fun. It was like having a pot of gold as a kid.”  Read more...