August 4, 2021

Global News Archive

News archives from around the world.

Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch mourns 8 juveniles in I-65 wreck – WSFA

2 min read

CAMP HILL, Ala. (WSFA) – The children and staff at Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch are grieving one day after eight juveniles, ages 4-17, affiliated with the nonprofit, lost their lives in a crash on Interstate 65. A ninth person, the ranch’s director, was also in the van but survived the wreck.

“We lost eight children in that van yesterday,” Alabama Sheriffs Youth Ranches CEO Michael Smith said as tears welled in his eyes.

“And I’ll tell you what I do know,” He said. “Those children are in a much better place. They’re with God, cause they all love God.”

The ranch is a safe haven for needy, neglected or abused children. The girls involved in the accident lived together, played together and were a “family.”

Members of the community clasped hands and came together at Reeltown High, the school the girls attended. Children, pastors and residents gathered for a prayer service. Tears rolled down children’s cheeks as they remembered their peers.

“And to hear one of our young girls get up and talk about how she loved her sisters, and…how her family never kept her before,” Smith said. “She’s lost her family before, and now she’s lost her sisters.”

Days ago, Smith was with the children in Gulf Shoes. He enjoyed a meal with the group. The van driving the kids back from their beach vacation was the van involved in the fatal wreck.

“I felt like the blessed one,” he said about one of his last moments with the children. “Having those girls sitting there with us and laughing and smiling.”

A GoFundMe has been created to help pay for funeral costs. Smith is also asking for prayer.

“And we need, we need all the prayers and support we can possibly get,” he said.

Copyright 2021 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

Source Link

Leave a Reply

Copyright ©2016-2021 Global News Archive. All rights reserved.