Community gathers in prayer for students injured in wreck

Published 3:04 pm Friday, April 12, 2024

By Jack Dobbs, Bowling Green Daily News

FRANKLIN — “This is something that’s very close to home.”

That is how Emmalee Knight, a senior at Franklin-Simpson High School and the president of the school’s Student Council, described her classmates’ feelings Thursday nearly a week after five area high school students were injured in a car accident in Simpson County.

“I think a lot of students have been really shocked to see how we’ve banded together,” Knight said. “It has really formed such a community in our school.”

The students were injured when the vehicle crashed into a tree on Gold City Road. Two of the students involved in the wreck, Mason Davis and Da’mont Leggs, remain in critical condition at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Leggs is a junior at FSHS and plays for the school’s football team and runs track. Davis is on the school’s baseball team and is the son of Bowling Green Police Officer Matt Davis, who was injured in a shooting in Bowling Green last year.

The three other students were released from The Medical Center at Franklin after treatment for non life-threatening injuries.

In response to the accident students at the school hosted a prayer before school on Wednesday and a “blue out” day Thursday. Blue and white are the FSHS colors.

Warren County Public Schools and Bowling Green Independent School District also encouraged their students to wear blue on Thursday.

“I’ve never seen anything to this magnitude of seeing all these schools just come together and support one another,” Knight said. “You can leave the competitive side of high school sports, all of that stuff at the door and you can see what really matters.”

A “community prayer” was also held Thursday at Franklin First United Methodist Church, organized by students and members of the community.

During the meeting, Tyler Harting, youth minister for the church, spoke about the power of community and healing through prayer.

“We need each other in this difficult time,” Harting said. “We need each other to make it. Not only do we have each other to hold up for these boys, but we have a God who says ‘I am walking with you.’ ”

Harting also introduced Matt Davis to the crowd via FaceTime. After Davis had hung up, Harting restated what Davis told him on the call.

“He lives in Bowling Green so doesn’t know a lot of you,” Harting stated. “He says even not knowing you he loves you and he can’t even express how thankful he is that you all would show up.”

The main prayer was delivered by Eric Walker, the pastor at Franklin Community Church. Voice cracking, Walker described the congregation as “believers gathered seeking the Holy Spirit’s presence.”

“Father, we are standing here right now …believing that the same God that was healing over 3,000 years ago is the same God that heals today,” Walker said in the prayer. “Tonight we’re walking by faith. We’re not walking by sight.”