N.C. Baptists involved in bus crash
April 10 2001 by

N.C. Baptists involved in bus crash | Tuesday, April 10, 2001

Tuesday, April 10, 2001

N.C. Baptists involved in bus crash

From wire reports Several N.C. Baptists were on a school trip when a bus crashed April 6 in Georgia.

The bus carrying dozens of high school students to a band competition flipped on its side on Interstate 95, CNN reported. About 20 students were injured, some of them seriously. The bus was part of a two-bus convoy from Massey Hill Classical High School in Fayetteville, Lt. William Terrell of the Camden County Sheriff's Department told CNN.

The school group's director, Steve West, is the music director at Massey Hill Baptist Church. He was on another bus and was not injured.

Leigh Faircloth, a music assistant at the school and the wife of Cedar Creek Baptist Church pastor Rodney Faircloth, sustained minor injuries in the crash.

"We are really worried about her, but the pastor was able to talk with her on the phone and she's going to be okay," a spokesperson for the church told Baptist Press (BP). "The pastor rushed out the door and is on his way to Georgia to be with her."

David Weeks, pastor of Massey Hill Baptist Church, said he heard about the crash just before 9 a.m. "I spoke to our music director's wife and he's really torn up about this," Weeks told BP. "He was in the lead bus and wasn't hurt, but this is a terrible thing."

West told WJXT in Jacksonville, Fla., that he was in the process of calling parents of the injured students.

A church secretary at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church said at least three of their students were on the trip, but were riding on another bus and were not injured.

Johnny Byrd, the minister of youth at Village Baptist Church, said one student from Village was on the trip, but was not on the bus that crashed.

The Associated Press (AP) reported that the six most seriously injured were taken to hospitals in Jacksonville, Fla., and the rest to Camden Medical Center in St. Marys.

Eleven students remained in hospitals three days after the accident, the Fayetteville Observer reported.

Officials at St. Marys hospital said the patients they received, all teen-agers, had mostly broken bones. Four underwent surgery, and the rest were to be released after treatment, said spokeswoman Susan Bates.

Some of the students had "cuts, bruises, scrapes, injuries from broken glass and road rash," she said. "The bus turned over on its side, and the kids sitting on that side received those injuries."

Renarta Moyd, a spokeswoman for the Cumberland County, N.C., school system, told AP that a car apparently pulled in front of the bus, causing it to swerve and overturn.

But Allison Hodge, a spokeswoman for the Georgia State Patrol in Atlanta, said troopers couldn't confirm that a car had caused the accident. "We're getting a lot of conflicting stories right now," she said.

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