By Donna Thornton/News Editor
Students, parents and local youth ministers ga-thered to pray for three Hokes Bluff High School sophomores seriously injured in a collision Jan. 13 on I-59 in St. Clair County.
Kayleigh Watkins, Abby Patrick and Hannah Clay remained hospitalized Thursday (Jan. 17), the day after their friends came together to pray for their recovery and their families.
Magan Patterson met her three friends for dinner at Cracker Barrel restaurant Monday evening.
She was in a separate car because she had to leave for a rehearsal. She said she left around 6 p.m. and her friends left a short time later.
It was after her rehearsal that she learned of her friends’ accident.
Magan said she understand her friends went straight across Ala. 77 leaving the restaurant and found themselves headed toward Steele on I-59.
State troopers said the collision occurred at 6:20 p.m., near the 169 mile marker, involving the 2013 Chevrolet the girls were in and an 18-wheeler.
Magan said the vehicle the girls were in was struck from behind.
The three girls were airlifted to Birmingham hospitals, according to published reports.
Watkins was listed in critical condition at UAB hospital Thursday morning.
Abby was in fair condition and Hannah was in good condition. Both are at Childrens Hospital of Alabama.
Jackie Lett said she heard students were coming together at the middle and high school to pray for the girls .
She said she decided to invite the community to gather to pray for them as well.
She enlisted Cassie Shields to help contact people and tell them of the prayer vigil, held in a vacant building adjacent to Town and Country Farm Supply and Hardware, at 5601 Main Street in Hokes Bluff.
“I want them to learn to have faith in prayer,” Lett said, and for the people of the community to be united in prayer for the girls and their families.
According to Facebook messages on the page “Prayers for Kayleigh, Abby and Hannah” prayer vigils will continue at the same location, at 8:15 p.m. on Wednesday and Sunday nights until the girls come home from the hospitals.
Magan said it’s been hard for her to focus on classes, thinking about her injured friends.
“They’re good kids,” Magan said. “They are amazing people.”