Friends, family still stunned by deaths - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Friends, family still stunned by deaths

August 31, 2004

Bainbridge-- People in three south Georgia communities affected by the Semi-train tragedy that rocked Climax Monday are still dealing with the shock.

Earlier today, a memorial service was held at Bainbridge College to remember the students and the instructor.

The bell tolls four times, in remembrance of four lives. "It was just an absolute shock. It was the worst thing that you could imagine happening, getting one of those calls," said Bainbridge College VP Robert Gingras.

A call that three students, Jamie Holms, Deborah Martin and Michael Raley along with their instructor, Laura Jenson had been killed in a fiery crash.

"These are people who are working hard to better their lives," BC President Dr. Cliff Brock said. "They have families, they have jobs and they go to school and work hard, study and sacrifice to do these degrees and certificates, and to have those lives snuffed out like this is just immeasurably difficult for the families and for those of us here at the college."

It is especially hard for Dana Wynn. She was a student and a friend of Laura Jenson. "She influenced and had a high impact on a lot of people."

But yesterday Jenson's life and the lives of her students were taken as the truck they were in pulled into the path of a train. Investigators are still trying to piece together clues about the wreck, specifically who was driving the truck, but they may never know what caused them to pull out in front of the oncoming truck. What is known, is that those lost yesterday left loved ones behind.

"They were good people, pray for their families...." said Brock.

Families and friends whose lives will forever be changed. Bainbridge College plans to hold a candlelight vigil at the campus in the next few weeks.

In view of this loss, will the commercial drivers license course continue? Administrators don't yet know. They plan to talk with students currently enrolled in the program and see if it they want it to continue.

"Well, we're going to have to step back and take a look and examine what we're doing," said Robert Gingras. "It's just so early to make predictions right now."

Bainbridge College has offered the CDL program for two years. Approximately 15 students are currently enrolled. More than 200 students have completed the program.

updated at 5:25PM by dave.miller@walb.com

Powered by WorldNow