Couple recovering from deadly church bus crash reunites after five weeks

STATESVILLE, NC (WBTV) - They have been married for 52 years and rarely spent a day apart. Then, on October 2nd, that all changed for Benny and Libby Elledge.

When the Front Street Baptist Church out of Statesville wrecked in Tennessee, six people were killed and more than a dozen were seriously injured, including Benny and Libby.

After a couple of weeks in the same Tennessee hospital, they came back to North Carolina.

This time, though, Benny went to Winston-Salem while Libby went to a rehab center in Statesville. They could speak on the phone but that's all.

"It's just not the same as seeing him," said Libby on Wednesday afternoon.

She didn't know it at the time but Benny was on his way to her.

Just before 5 p.m.,  he was wheeled in the front door of Autumn Care on a stretcher, and into the arms of Libby.

"I am so blessed he is here with me," she said.

Benny will continue his rehab at Autumn Care, just as Libby is doing. Both are learning to walk again.

"Family is the greatest thing," said Benny, as he wiped away a tear and looked at his bride of half a century.

The two could get separated, again, because Libby might be released before Benny. If that happens, though, she can still come to visit him every day.

"She has car keys and a car," said Benny.

No, that won't be the way it works, said son Jeff. "I will drive her."

Benny and Libby held hands and said they didn't want to be apart again. The  52 years together was nothing, said Benny, but five weeks apart?

"Seemed like a lifetime," he said.

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