Local minister reaches out to bus crash victims - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Local minister reaches out to bus crash victims

A local pastor went to an area hospital to pray with bus crash victims and to lend an ear to find out what they need since most only speak Spanish. 

"They're not doing very well," said Pastor Greg Diaz. 

Diaz runs the largest Hispanic church in Memphis: Nueva Direccion.  "It's still frightening for the Latinos to not be able to speak and for the nurses to understand in terms of what hurts," Pastor Diaz added.

Hospitals do have some Spanish translators. 

"The most difficult thing the families are facing right now is the challenge of the Spanish," explained Alex Matlock of La Prensa Latina, Memphis's top bilingual newspaper, is working with the Mexican Consulate to help the families. 

Most of them were passing through the Mid-South to go to Mexico and Central America.  "They've been in the states working all year long, saving their money and they were going back to their countries to spend Christmas," Pastor Diaz further explained. 

The victims range from children to senior citizens.

Sandy Snell of the MED says they're mostly treating victims with broken bones and fractures.  People all over the Mid-South are calling hospitals to offer help. 

"We have been called by people in the community who want to volunteer as translators. So, we have put them in touch with our Guest Services Department," explained Snell.    

Nueva Direccion's main goal is to re-unite them with their families.

Pastor Diaz says a group of local pastors has started an emergency fund.  Nueva Direccion set up the hotline for people who want to help: 901-368-0059. 

The church held a community meeting at its sanctuary on Winchester Road to collect money and get out the message.

Click here to email Kontji Anthony.

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