Five women killed early Wednesday in a fiery interstate crash in southeast Georgia were all nursing students headed to a Savannah hospital.
St. Joseph’s/ Candler Health System said all five were Georgia residents commuting to St. Joseph’s Hospital for their final clinical rotation of the school year.
The Georgia State Patrol says a tractor-trailer failed to slow down and smashed into stop-and-go traffic on Interstate 16 that had backed up because of an earlier wreck. Three people also were injured in the crash about 20 miles west of Savannah.
Georgia Southern University identified the dead as Emily Clark of Powder Springs, Morgan Bass of Leesburg, Abbie Deloach of Savannah, Catherine Pittman of Alpharetta and Caitlyn Baggett of Millen.
The front cover of Thursday’s edition of The George-Anne, the student newspaper at Georgia Southern.
— The George-Anne (@TheGeorgeAnne) April 23, 2015
— @RStockmanWSB (@RStockmanWSB) April 23, 2015
A message from Georgia Southern University President Brooks Keel:
It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of a tragedy that took place this morning. Five Georgia Southern students died and two were injured in an early morning crash on I-16 eastbound near Savannah.
It is with great sadness that I let you know the names of the students who lost their lives in the accident earlier today following confirmation of family notification:
Emily Clark, Junior, Powder Springs, GA
Morgan Bass, Junior, Leesburg, GA
Abbie Deloach, Junior, Savannah, GA
Catherine (McKay) Pittman, Junior, Alpharetta, GA
Caitlyn Baggett, Junior, Millen, GA
Both Brittney McDaniel, Reidsville, GA and Megan Richards, Loganville, GA are currently being treated for their injuries. We will continue to provide updates as they become available.
Every one of our students contributes in no small measure, to the Eagle Nation. The loss of any student, especially in a tragic way, is particularly painful. Losing five students is almost incomprehensible.
Our hearts go out to the families, friends and classmates of these students.
The University flag will fly at half-staff Thursday in their memory. Memorial arrangements are pending.
The student leadership of the Student Nurses’ Association, Kappa Delta Sorority, Alpha Delta Pi Sorority and Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority invite the Georgia Southern community to Sweetheart Circle for a memorial at 7 p.m. tonight, April 23, honoring those students whose lives were lost tragically on April 22, 2015.
Let me urge those particularly touched by this tragedy to avail themselves of counseling services, and I urge all members of the University community to support each other during this time.
Members of the University community may obtain support services from the Counseling Center at 912-478-5541.