The street sign from the intersection of Fairgrounds Road and County Road 850 West lay mangled in a field where two pickup trucks carrying six South Ripley High School students wrecked Thursday.
Mike Perleberg-Eagle 99.3
(Versailles, Ind.) - South Ripley High School is having class today, but it may be difficult to focus on school work for many students.
Six students were either killed or injured in a violent crash on Fairgrounds Road at County Road 850 West about 9:45 Thursday morning.
Timothy Curtis Bowman’s funeral and visitation will be held Monday and Tuesday. Funeral arrangements are still pending for Jacob Vogel and Samantha Hansen.
Three others injured in the crash did not return to school Friday: Thomas Crawford, Caleb Cumberworth, and Kayla Adkinson.
Indiana State Police Sgt. Noel Houze said of the three, only Adkinson remains in the hospital with a fractured pelvis. Crawford was released from the hospital Thursday night after being treated for broken ribs and a bruised lung. Cumberworth was out Thursday after being treated for a minor hand injury.
Investigators could begin interviews with Cumberworth on Friday, Houze said.
The impact of Thursday’s events is being felt beyond South Ripley. Each of the three killed students attended the Southeast Career Center in Versailles, which welcomes vocational students from 12 high schools across southeast Indiana.
“What do you say? We’re just going to keep praying for the families and those kids,” said SCC Director Brad Street.
Crawford, one of the injured students, also attended the career center. So do siblings of the other two students who survived the wreck.
Many people are beginning to ask the question why the students were out driving when they were supposed to be at a Future Farmers of America function. The six FFA students were serving breakfast to local farmers at Ripley County Soil and Water Conservation District at the Hopewell Baptist Church.
“Participation in the breakfast was a school-approved activity,” South Ripley Schools Superintendent Rob Moorhead said Thursday. “Students that participated reported to the church at 6:00 a.m. And, because this report time was prior to the start of the school day, they provided their own transportation to the event.”
Moorhead added that the students were scheduled to participate in the event for the entire school day. The high school’s FFA sponsor, Pat Holland, was there.
The school district has not released any further information on the matter.
"Our efforts are 100% focused on helping our students and staff get through this situation. We ask that everyone respect the privacy of our school family as we deal with this loss," Moorhead told Eagle 99.3 Friday.
Ripley County Soil and Water Conservation District Coordinator Kim Jolly released a statement regarding Thursday’s crash.
“The Ripley County Soil and Water Conservation District and our partners would like to send our deepest condolences and prayers to the families of the three students that lost their lives in Thursday’s tragic accident. The students, members of the South Ripley FFA Chapter, have touched the lives of many in our community. This accident is devastating and the students will be greatly missed. Our hearts are with their loved ones and the whole community during this time. Prayers are also with the injured students and their families as they recover.”