Local News

Several Bus Crash Victims Still Hospitalized, Two Remain In Critical Condition

Posted April 6, 2001

— Two students fromMassey Hill Classical High Schoolremain in critical condition after the bus they were on crashed on Interstate 95 south in Georgia Friday morning.

Jill Adams, 15, and Patricia Mathis, 16, are being treated atShands-Jacksonville Medical Center. Trauma Surgeon Miren Schinco said that both girls are in critical, but stable condition with head injuries. Officials say both students are making good progress.

Another student is listed in fair condition. She is awake and alert and interacting with her family. Two other students are listed in stable condition.

Doctors say the five students who required surgery for broken bones will likely need repeat orthopedic surgeries. Schinco also added that the students suffered various degrees of soft tissues and orthopedic injuries.

"One [critically injured] child had significant injuries to her face. Two had lesser face injuries and are recovering quite well," Schinco said.

As for the recovery period, Schinco said that, "one child will take weeks, and the other will take months and multiple trips to the operating room. Both are still on ventilators and unable to speak but can communicate in non-verbal ways." -->

About 46 people were on the bus headed to Florida to participate in theAll-American Music Festival of Orlando, an international band and choral competition, when the accident occurred. About two dozen were injured.

Students on board the charter bus say the driver, Darol Wayne Britt, 38, of Fayetteville, appeared to be too tired to drive safely. They say he swerved across the road several times before the wreck.

"When we had stopped at the rest stop, he took a nap. He was leaning on the steering wheel and slept the whole 30 minutes," says student Grant Cates.

Britt's family says he is an experienced driver who always got enough rest before a job.

"He had about five-and-a-half to six hours of sleep before he left. He did have sleep before he left on that trip," says Melissa Dalton, Britt's niece.

Authorities are still investigating the incident.

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