Bartlesville Couple Who Survived Fatal Wreck Return Home From Egypt

Wednesday, December 29th 2010, 5:00 pm
By: News On 6

Dan Bewley, News On 6

BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma -- A Bartlesville couple who survived a deadly bus crash in Egypt is on their way home. John and Helen Vanderveen flew back to Tulsa Wednesday night. The couple was on a bus that hit a dump truck in Egypt; eight Americans were killed.

The Vanderveens are a popular couple in Bartlesville. They volunteer with a number of organizations, including OK Mozart. Now their friends are just glad they're coming back home.

Becky Wallace has been watching news from half a world away.

"But you can see how it took the side off the bus," Becky Wallace said. "That is Helen, and that's her husband."

Her good friends, John and Helen Vanderveen, made international news after surviving a horrific crash while on board a bus in southern Egypt. The side of the bus was ripped away after it ran into a dump truck the day after Christmas.

Eight Americans died but, the Vanderveens were taken away by ambulance to a local hospital.

"They seem to be doing rather well," Wallace said.

Wallace said the Vanderveens' tight network of friends quickly spread the word that their injuries were relatively minor. Helen had a dozen stitches in her forehead, and John suffered a broken jaw.

12/28/2010 Related Story: Two Oklahomans Injured In Egyptian Bus Crash

"It was a miracle. It was a sure God-given miracle," she said.

Wallace said they're strong in spirit, and it doesn't surprise her to see how well they looked despite the terrifying accident.

"They have strong faith, and that's good," said the family friend.

Wallace said the Vanderveens may be a bit slower when they get home, but that spirit of adventure will always be there. She's confident that the couple is already planning their next trip.

"I'll lay odds that when she gets back that one of the things she'll fuss about is not getting to finish the trip in Egypt," she said.

Wallace said the Vanderveens had travel insurance that has helped pay for a nurse to travel with them from Egypt back here to Tulsa.