Youth Ranch CEO: ‘Words Cannot Explain’ Site of Alabama Crash That Killed 9 Kids
After eight youngsters from a juvenile ranch for the abused and neglected died in a van accident on Saturday, ranch CEO Michael Smith said “words cannot describe” what he witnessed. The kids, ages four to seventeen, were returning from a beach excursion to Gulf Shores when their van was trapped in a crash caused by Tropical Storm Claudette on Interstate 65.
Smith, of the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch, was returning from the trip in a separate van and went to the collision site later that day. The collision, according to Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock, occurred when automobiles hydroplaned during the rain.
Ranch Director Candice Gulley, who was retrieved from the collision by a bystander and is presently in stable condition at a Montgomery hospital, was the van’s only survivor.
The crash killed Gulley’s two children, four ranch residents, and two ranch guests, as well as a 29-year-old man and his 9-month-old daughter who were traveling in a separate vehicle.
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
A 24-year-old man and his 3-year-old son were killed Saturday when a tree fell on their house in Tuscaloosa, while a 23-year-old Fort Payne woman died after her car drove off the road and into a swollen creek, according to authorities.
Search dogs discovered the body of a man suspected to have fallen into the river amid flash floods in Birmingham, according to news reports.
Claudette had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph by Monday morning (65 kph). According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm was about 90 miles (145 kilometers) south of Ocean City, Maryland, and heading east-northeast at 28 mph (45 kph).
Before dissipating late Tuesday, the system was predicted to travel close or south of Nova Scotia.
Before Claudette went out to sea, the Carolinas might expect 1 to 2 inches (3 to 5 centimeters) of rain.
At the ranch, the yearly trip to the beach is the highlight of the year. For many of the females, it’s their first time, according to a staffer. The staffer wrote on social media before the trip that the company wanted “our daughters to be able to appreciate all of the.” This is a condensed version of the information.