ATLANTA — A memorial ceremony was held Monday at the Georgia State Capitol in remembrance of five student nurses from Georgia Southern University who were killed in a pileup in April in North Bryan.
Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, welcomed attendees to the ceremony, which featured remarks from Gov. Nathan Deal, first lady Sandra Deal and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.
“It’s heartbreaking to know these students passed away while pursuing a profession that is near and dear to my own heart,” Unterman said. “These young women were tragically taken far too soon, and it was an honor to recognize the dedication and spirit shown by these young women as they studied to become part of the medical community.”
“It was an honor to take part in today’s memorial service to celebrate the life of five amazing young women — each pursuing their dream of becoming a nurse,” Cagle said. “I want to express my sincere condolences to their families and friends as they continue to grieve and reflect on their treasured memories. My family prays for their strength through this difficult time.”
During the ceremony, all nurses in attendance recited the Nightingale Pledge, and Emily McGuire, the president of the Georgia Southern University Student Nurses Association, read a poem. Dr. Sharon Radzyminski, professor and chairwoman of the School of Nursing at Georgia Southern, also gave remarks during the ceremony.
Memorial gifts were presented to the surviving family members of the young women. The gifts included engraved holograms of the late daughter for each family, a memorial candle and a treasure box that included a special note from every member within the Women’s Legislative Caucus.
The students were en route to their final clinical rotation of the school year April 22 when a tractor-trailer crashed into the two SUVs carrying the women on Interstate 16 in North Bryan. The big rigs struck the vehicles while they were stopped because of an accident that happened earlier in that area.
Bryan County News staff contributed to this report.