Documentary film debuts for survivors on bus crash anniversary - News, Weather & Sports

Documentary film debuts for survivors on bus crash anniversary

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A very important anniversary comes Tuesday May 14, as we mark the 25th anniversary of the Carroll County bus crash, the deadliest drunk driving crash in our Nation's history.

Twenty seven people died and 34 were injured when Larry Mahoney, driving drunk the wrong way on Interstate 71 in Carroll County, crashed into a Radcliff church bus that burst into flames on impact.

The stories of the survivors and those who didn't make it are part of the new film "Impact; After the Crash."  The film also documents what happened to Mahoney and which survivor he met in prison.

Each anniversary brings stories from both victims families and from the survivors, but for the first time all those stories are coming together in the new film, which debuts in two screenings this week, and one of it's producers is survivor Harold Dennis.

Over the past 25 years, we have followed the bus crash families and survivors in stories of devastating loss and inspiration. Harold Dennis continues to captivate audiences as he shares his emotional and physical scars from the Nation's worst drunk driving crash.

"Impact; After the Crash" has been a long journey for it's producers and filmmakers.

The 80-minute documentary came about thanks in part to a $40,000 grant from the Kentucky State Police.

Dennis spoke of the idea behind the film, "It just dawned on me," he said, "There are so many other stories of inspiration of survivorship and of resilience that have come out of this crash that no one knows about or maybe that we've forgotten about."

In "Impact; After the Crash," Dennis and producer/filmmakers Jason Epperson, Daniel Smith and David Geary are now sharing those stories.

Dennis' good friend Karolyn Nunnallee is a former National President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a parent who sued the bus manufacturer and a mother who lost her 10-year-old daughter Patty in the fiery crash. She never hesitated to tell her story saying, the film is a way to honor Patty and those killed with her and for the first time it helped her really understand what the children on the bus went through.

Nunnallee explained, "To see what their feelings were that day, what their feelings were that night, what happened during the crash and really their lives ever since."

For Harold Dennis, now a parent, he too better understands what Karolyn felt. "I was holding back the emotion, the tears," after seeing the film, "Because we all have young children now and it's just hard to fathom dealing with that."

Both want audiences to find a sense of hope that you can move on after tragedy strikes.

The film will be shown privately to survivors on the anniversary Tuesday night.  Then it will be shown to the public Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. at the Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center.

The public showing is already sold out.

After that, the film will be shown at film festivals this year, then the filmmakers hope it will be distributed nationally and used as an educational tool as well.

For more information, including past reports and raw video, involving the crash, click here.

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