South Carolina middle school students craft sympathy cards for Amtrak-CSX collision victims

PINE RIDGE, SC (WIS) - Students at Pine Ridge Middle School in West Columbia spent the day sending their thoughts and prayers to both victims and survivors of Sunday's deadly Amtrak-CSX crash.

Hundreds of students gathered to create personal sympathy cards for those affected by the crash. The middle school served as an emergency shelter for those riding the train immediately following the derailment.

"I lost my father when I was eight years old and I kind of still get emotional about it but I still know how it feels," sixth-grader LaMarria said. "I went through a lot too but I got through it so they can get through it too."

Students dug through hundreds of crayons, markers and colored pencils to create the cards, which will be sent to survivors and victims of the crash.

"I wrote that they hope they get better and I know it's going to be hard to get away from it so it's going to hard to forget but I hope they get well and God will be by their side," sixth-grader Allison said.

Several members of the district staff showed up at the middle school just minutes after hearing about the crash, which occurred about two miles down the road.

"I got a call about 4:10 a.m. and I live a mile down the road and I said I can be there in three minutes, so that's what I did," Assistant Principal Kendrick Kerr, said. "Our compassion isn't just for the community, it's for people passing

through the community as well."

"Everything is going to be fine, don't worry about ifs," LaMarria said. "Just know you're strong and you're going to get through it and you're going to get through it."

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