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GSU honors students lost in I-16 tragedy
Memorial garden dedicated in memory of victims, survivors of April accident
With feelings of fondness and sadness of lost classmates during the dedication of the Georgia Southern University School of Nursing Memorial Garden Monday, Megan Richards, center, huddles with sister Melissa as fellow Georgia Southern nursing student Emily McGuire remembers and honors the five nursing students who lost their lives in an April auto accident. Richards was one of the two students who survived the accident and is also honored, along with fellow survivor Brittney McDaniel, by plants in the garden.
By the time spring returns to Statesboro, the patio outside the Georgia Southern University School of Nursing will be ablaze with new color and life as the new School of Nursing Memorial Garden blooms for the first time. The university held a ceremony Monday, Oct. 19 at 3 pm. to dedicate the garden to the seven young women in whose honor it was planted: Morgan Bass, Caitlyn Baggett, Emily Clark, Abby Deloach and Catherine “McKay” Pittman, who lost their lives in a car crash April 22, 2015, on their way to clinical rotation in Savannah; and Brittney McDaniel and Megan Richards, who were injured in the same crash but are continuing their nursing studies at GSU. “Words are not adequate,” Georgia Southern interim president Dr. Jean Bartels began in her welcoming address at the dedication ceremony, speaking to an audience of the friends and family members of the young women harmed in the crash. The dedication’s attendees, which also included university students, faculty and staff and members of the greater Statesboro community, overwhelmed the small patio bordering the garden.
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