Sunday, June 6, 2010

Wedding Tragedy...

I got the pictures! And will post more recaps for tonight or tomorrow. But I wanted to really bring everyone into what's important...

I'm sure everyone has things that would make their wedding "horrible" like a guest wearing white, or your parent getting too drunk and telling embarrassing stories.

Yesterday, here in Indianapolis, there was a true worst case scenario that changed a would-be happy wedding day.

You can read about it here or here, but I'm typing the text in from the version, in case the link dies out eventually.

Despite sorrow, bandages, bruises and cuts, the wedding party persevered, with the couple exchanging vows later in the day in a conference area of Methodist Hospital's emergency room.

While they made the best of the situation, those at the wedding said they did not want to dwell on the tragic crash and death with the media.

A shuttle bus from Mavris Arts & Event Center carrying the bridal party was westbound on South Street when it collided at Delaware Street with a northbound Chevrolet Yukon with an Ohio license plate about 2 p.m.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said that one driver failed to stop for a red light, but police still were investigating late today to determine who was at fault, said Lt. Jeff Duhamell, an IMPD spokesman.

The crash caused the bus to spin to face east and tip to the side, landing on the northwest corner of the intersection. At least 16 people inside the shuttle were transported to Methodist and Wishard hospitals.

James Douglass, 29, died in the crash. He suffered severe head trauma, Duhamell said. It could not be immediately confirmed his community of residence.

Police by late today had not yet released the names of the drivers or of those injured. Blood samples will be taken from both drivers and tested for intoxication, which is protocol in a fatal crash, Duhamell said.

The bride works in IMPD's crime analysis unit, Duhamell said.

The wedding had been scheduled for 5:30 p.m. today at Mavris, 121 S. East St. After the hospital wedding, the party did go there for a prayer service and dinner.

At the wedding, nurses transformed into wedding planners, gathering cookies and punch, setting up chairs and using hydrogen peroxide to get bloodstains out of dresses.

Carrying gerbera daisy bouquets, the bridesmaids and bride all wore hospital-issued socks, captured in a photo by the wedding photographer.

About 100 teary-eyed guests gathered for the short ceremony, where the bride and groom exchanged vows, rings and received a standing ovation when they kissed.

‘‘We got their medical needs tended to, and we found out they wanted to get married here,’’ said Kelly Owens, an emergency room nurse.

Owens’ husband went to pick up a replacement tuxedo for the groom while security officers from Methodist went to Wishard to pick up the best man and rings.

‘‘I’ve been here 10 years,’’ Owens said. ‘‘I’ve seen one or two brides come in, but this is definitely the first time we’ve done a wedding. It makes the best of a bad situation.’’

The bride’s father Chuck Magee, Dublin, Ohio, called the nurses ‘‘angels in blue’’ because of their blue scrubs.‘‘The ER staff has just been compassionate, professional and considerate,’’ Magee said. ‘‘Everybody seems to be in as good of spirits as can be expected.’’

I really cannot imagine losing a groomsman on my wedding day. This story should give all brides, and really all people, something to think of and put weddings in perspective.

All text in italics from's "Wedding goes on -- at hospital -- after fatal crash" By Gretchen Becker, linked above.


  1. Very sad. Glad they were still able to have their ceremony though.

  2. That is so sad although it kinda had a happy ending.

  3. This is just awful! For our wedding, I was always concerned with certain very ill family/friends. I was worried they would pass away before out wedding day came around... and some did. But I realized that although they were gone, they were with us in spirit. This really can put bride's in perspective. Bride's should just be happy to be marrying the man/woman of their dreams and worry less about the details. Be thankful for the day.

  4. I heard about this on the news...this is just so terrible. My heart really goes out to them.

  5. Wow. That made me cry. So sad. :(

  6. wow! What a tragic turn of events for that really puts perspective on things...even though my wedding plans have changed it's nothing compared to what these people had to deal with and they still made it work somehow..unbelievable!