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Sunday Vesper Service Focuses on Gratitude After Students Were Involved in Saturday Bus Accident

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

(Oct. 31, 2009) -- A Sunday evening Vesper Service focusing on gratitude will be held at Morehouse College’s Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel after members of the College’s marching band escaped a Saturday morning bus accident without life-threatening injuries.

One of three buses carrying the Morehouse College “House of Funk” Marching Band to a football game in Albany, Ga. flipped over Saturday morning on Interstate 75 in south Metro Atlanta.

“We don’t know yet what caused the accident,” said Morehouse Chief of Police Vernon Worthy. “But we do know the bus flipped at least two times.”

There were no fatalities or life-threatening injuries in the accident, but students were taken to various hospitals in the area for treatment. Most, including two members who attend Spelman College, have been treated and released. The two most seriously injured students were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in downtown Atlanta. One student will be kept overnight for observation while the other is scheduled to be released Saturday afternoon.

Sunday’s Vesper service will be held at 6 p.m. and is open to the public.

Worthy said the band was headed to Albany, approximately 152 miles south of Atlanta, where they were scheduled to perform during Saturday afternoon’s Morehouse-Albany State University football game. Only one bus, traveling southbound on I-75 and carrying 42 students, was involved in the 10 a.m. accident at the I-75/I-675 split in Henry County which is about 20 minutes south of downtown Atlanta and the Morehouse campus.

"As it relates to the bus transportation company, Morehouse College retained the services of Adventure Bus Charter and Tours Inc. to transport the members of the Maroon Tiger Marching Band to Albany for the football game," said Morehouse director of public relations, Toni O'Neal Mosley.

"The College used the services of Adventure Bus Charter and Tours, Inc. for a number of years without incident," she said. "We are conducting an internal investigation to determine how Superior Transportation Group, Inc. in was involved."

The football game was to be played as scheduled.

School officials have set-up a hotline through the Office of Student Services where parents and family members can get the latest information on the accident or check on loved ones. That number is (404) 215-2634 and will be accessible from 2 - 8 p.m. on Saturday. After 8 p.m., callers will be directed to the Campus Police Department where they will be provided updated information.

Also on campus, the College’s Student Health Center has set up a observation/evaluation area in Benjamin E. Mays Hall for students who have returned from the accident.

Band members who have returned to campus have been counseled by Morehouse and Atlanta University Center chaplains. The College’s Counseling Resource Center also will be open and available this weekend.

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