Abilene Christian University knows all too well the effects a tragic bus accident can have on an academic community. It’s been a little less than three years since a busload of students and faculty from ACU’s Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences was involved in an accident that killed sophomore Anabel Reid and injured 15 others, some critically.
So our thoughts and prayers are with North Central Texas College in Gainesville, where a prayer vigil was held earlier tonight to help its community begin to heal in the wake of a truck-bus accident Friday night in Oklahoma that killed four student-athletes and hospitalized three others. ACU graduate Dr. Brent Wallace (’03 M.A.) was recently appointed president of NCTC – the state’s oldest continuously operating public two-year college – after having served as its vice president of instruction and chief academic officer.
In the NCTC accident, an 18-wheeler crossed the median of Interstate 35 near the Texas-Oklahoma border and hit the bus, which was being driven by the college’s head softball coach. He was transporting his team home after the Lady Lions played Southern Nazarene University in a Friday scrimmage in Bethany, Okla. As of Saturday night, two Lady Lions were still hospitalized and one was in critical condition.
Brooke Deckard, Jaiden Pelton, Meagan Richardson and Katelynn Woodlee died in the accident. Woodlee was a freshman and the others were sophomores who were part of NCTC’s 2014 team that won the National Junior College Athletic Association regional championship and advanced to the NJCAA national tournament for just the second time in history.
Wallace earned a master’s degree in human communication from ACU and graduate certifications in conflict resolution and family dispute mediation.
NCTC’s main campus in Gainesville has about 2,500 students with additional locations in Bowie, Corinth, Flower Mound and Graham.
You can leave messages of condolence and prayers on the NCTC Facebook site.