Grand Jury To Make Decision In Crash Involving Lexington Church Bus

A little boy involved in a crash along an Alabama highway that left several members of a Lexington church injured has died. Now, a grand jury will decide if charges will be filed against the driver of the pickup truck.

The boy was in a pick-up truck that crossed a median and ran into the Centenary United Methodist Church bus in Dothan, Alabama.

He has been identified as 11-year-old Rippin Upton of Columbus, GA.

Several people from the church group were rushed to the hospital.

A member of the Centenary United Methodist Church who tells 27 NEWSFIRST that 21 of their students were taken to two different hospitals in Dothan. The good news is that there are no reports of and serious injuries, mostly just minor cuts and bruises.

Witnesses say it appeared the truck hydroplaned, causing it to veer into the southbound lane and in the path of the second church bus in the three-bus convoy.

All together a total of 79 students and chaperons from Centenary United Methodist Church here in Lexington were on board the three buses on their way to a youth camp in Panama City, Florida about 45 minutes away from Dothan.


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  • by Kyle on Sep 6, 2008 at 07:24 PM
    I was on this trip, though I was in the bus behind the one that crashed. My heart and prayers still go out daily for the Upton family. I know that I speak for all those from Centenary when I say that we do not want charges pressed. This woman and family have lost their child, and that should certainly be enough to learn their lesson. Again, I pray for the family every day. Know that God is in control and can use this.
  • by Student Location: Lexington on Jul 13, 2008 at 09:27 PM
    Hi everyone. I was on this trip but not on the bus that wrecked. To the uncle, I am so sorry about your loss. We have all been praying for your family. If Wendell needs support he has a family at Centenary here in Lexington. Everyone in our group will recover fully and most already have. We will be making the trip again next year without a doubt, except we are most likely taking charter busses. The wreck and the trip as a whole has been a life-changing experience for all of us. Our hearts and prayers go out to the mother who was driving the truck. THe charges being considered are due to the fact that she was going 25 over the speed limit. However, the children on the bus wish that these charges would not be followed through with. We have tried to contact the family and as far as i know have still been unsuccessful. I also just recieved news that the 9 year old son has also died. Any further questons can be answered by contacting Centenary. Know that God was in the situation.
  • by cop Location: at the wreck on Jul 10, 2008 at 07:02 PM
    well Mom was speeding in and out of trafic at a high rate of speed she said to the police that she had the truck set at 75mph in a 50mph murder if you ask me!
  • by Clara Location: Somerset on Jul 3, 2008 at 06:07 AM
    I am wondering the same as Dave... What charges are being considered.. It sounds like an accident... maybe they know something we don't... Accidents happen.. Unless this man was drunk, high or traveling at an EXTREME high rate of speed. why press charges.. he lost his child... Highly inapproiate for this DA office.
  • by Dave Location: Lexington on Jul 3, 2008 at 05:26 AM
    Maybe I missed something.... What charges are being considered? It sounds like an accident plain and simple. What warrants charges to be filed? Perhaps a better explanation in the news coverage would be helpful.
  • by Lele Location: Richmond on Jul 1, 2008 at 07:41 AM
    My son made this trip 2yrs ago with another church and that was one of my biggest worries about the 12hr. drive down there and luckily they made it safely there and back. My heart goes out to those on the bus and the family of the little boy that didn't make it. This could have ended up alot worse and thank God it didn't. I hope they return safely and I will be praying for them all.
  • by Uncle Earl Location: NEW MEXICO on Jun 30, 2008 at 11:02 PM
    This is the boys uncle and they are not from Columbus, Ga,, they are from New Mexico. They were there visiting their Mother. This is a horrific tragedy for all involved. Their father is there in Alabama in the hospital next to his youngest, his only son left, who is barely clinging to LIFE. He needs all the support he can get. Our worst nightmare just came true. With help from family, we got him there to be by Brody's side and now need to bring him and his sons home. This tight nit father and sons relationship shattered. These boys lived life to the fullest and now one is gone and the other who knows what is in store for his future but we do know he will be living without his brother, his anchor. The father, Wendell Upton, is all alone and miles away from home. Any help or advice would be appreciated.
  • by Larry Location: Lexington on Jun 30, 2008 at 02:27 PM
    My grandson was in the bus. He is OK and all of them are in our prayers
  • by Anonymous on Jun 30, 2008 at 02:10 PM
    My thoughts and prayers are with all of those involved...Especially the little boys family....
  • by Laura Location: Kansas on Jun 30, 2008 at 09:29 AM
    I probably know alot of the kids scince I went to the chuch almost a year ago now!!

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