Morehouse, Spelman students remember; celebrate

Morehouse and Spelman College students say they became a family Saturday when one of their buses flipped several times.

But instead of complaining and mourning over the crash, the students celebrated Sunday night. Only one student was seriously injured and remains in Grady Memorial Hospital.

Morehouse officials are not releasing the name of the student. The college is private and is not obligated to give out that information.

Henry County police are still investigating the accident and have not released a report at this time.

“I was never a spiritual person before Saturday,” Travis Amsterdam, one of the band members, said. “But to walk away without a scratch, in the end I have to give it up to God.”

On Sunday evening, the students came together to celebrate and reminisce about the crash. Dozens of students filled the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel for the Vesper Service. Those that were involved called it a tragedy, while others thanked fellow classmates, calling them heroes.

“Life is full of surprises and unexpected occurrences. But tonight is like a clean plate,” said Lawrence Edward Carter, Sr., chapel dean. “One thing I know, God has cooked up something wonderful to put on the clean plate for all of us.”

The incident will have lifelong affects on everyone involved, said Melvin Jones, Morehouse band director.

“While an accident by itself is a tragedy the result is that these young people really are a family,” he said. “People who may not have known anything about each other now have built lifelong bonds.”

One of three buses carrying the "House of Funk" Marching Band to Albany State for a football game skidded off I-75 south in Henry County and flipped twice. The accident occurred a little after 10 a.m. Saturday.

Forty-two students were on the bus, including four Spelman students.

The accident occurred on I-75 south just south of the I-675 merge, said Capt. Jason Bolton of the Henry County Police Department.

Hayward Banks, one of the band members sitting in the back of the flipped bus spoke of the ordeal. He said what he remembers most of all is how everyone came together after the accident.

“I saw us become a family,” he said.

Morehouse President, Robert Franklin encouraged and praised the students Sunday night.

“As days go on and trauma comes and goes, allow yourselves to feel all of the horror and the shock,” he said. “In times of tragedy never be afraid to ask why. Allow the honesty of your grief and respect it. It is okay to question God and to question life.”