Local News

Student Involved In Georgia Bus Crash Continues On Long Road To Recovery

Posted April 1, 2002

— It is an anniversary many Fayetteville students would like to forget. A week from Saturday marks the day dozens of Massey Hill Classical High School Students were injured in a bus crash on their way to a band competition in Florida. One student still has a long recovery process ahead of her.

Tricia Mathis is back at school, but after the prom, she will head back to the hospital for more plastic surgery.

"It's my eye. I want it fixed. I want an eyebrow," she said.

Mathis has many scars, but the ones on her face concern her most.

"It's been hard. Just for me and the way people act. I'm not used to it and I'm still not used to it. The way people look at me," Mathis said.

The 17-year-old has a different hairstyle now than before the crash. Her bangs now help hide her injuries. She does not remember a whole lot from the bus crash last April. Still, almost a year later, she continues to feel the effects.

"She still has something in her knee, glass or gravel. It's amazing she survived and is doing as good as she's doing," said Becky Harmon, Tricia's mother.

Doctors gave Mathis a 10 percent chance of making it through the first night. She had severe road rash, a cracked skull, broken nose and many other injuries, but she has come a long way with the support of friends and family.

The high school junior has high hopes for the future and no longer takes anything for granted.

"I'm just lucky I'm here," Mathis said.

The bus driver, Darol Britt, was fined $100 in North Carolina for driving the charter bus with bad brakes. He faces more severe charges in Georgia.

Some of the students are planning to go to Georgia next week to personally thank the rescue workers and local residents who helped them after the crash. They held a car wash on Saturday, raising several hundred dollars to help finance the trip.

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