Small Town History- true stories (kinda depressing, sorry)
Old, worn brick, small little houses brushed lightly with dirt... broken up streets, old alleyways, and families who have been here since 1819. This is my current- but not home- town, turning 200 years old just this summer. It is a quiet place, only about 7,000 people live here- and that number includes our prison which is home of about 3000 inmates from all around. For a small, quaint little city, we sure do have a lot of dark history- including racial injustice a very long time ago (and for some, it still persists).
Recently, I remembered the story I was told about a student who... did some things, though no one really knew why. Just that she went home one night and never returned to school again. I do not remember her name, though it is not relevant to the story, it bothers me because I never heard of her, until recently from our health teacher because no one wanted to talk about it. No one. Keep in mind, I never knew her despite the town being small because when it happened, I was only in fourth grade and did not know more than two people by name, still- they tried to keep it a secret... why?
Let me take you back a little to another incident that happened here at the school. I can say that there was no way I could hae known this happened if not for the gossip of other students upon my question, "Why is our school so poor?"
August 27th, 2003
I was born that year, though several months prior to this date. I was maybe... six months old? So even if I had lived here, I never would have learned of the accidet mrore likely than not. It was the beginning of the school year, of course, not even two weeks in. A bus was en route to the junior high after picking up some students out in the country side... except the bus never made it to the school.
Evidently, the drive took his eyes off the road to pay attention to a buzzer that went off on the bus signaling something went wrong. In that one second he took his eyes from the road, the bus slid off the road and straight off of a bright- in which the constrcutin company forgot to put the rain back up to keep things that fro happening in the first place. The bus full of students lnaded in a ditch and from what I understand, it was horrible.
15 students were injured, as was the bus driver. On
Two were air lifted to a hospital in the city about an hour away for better emergency treatment
THe bus driver remained on the bus covered in his own- and maybe the students'- blood as he tried to get them out before he left himself. A firefighter was actually on his ay to work and stumbled cross the acident, which happened to be their saving grace... for everyone but this little girl (14 years old) called 'Sierra [stage name] Ford', and a boy named 'DIllon [Stage name] Roberts'. Sieraa died in the hospital two days later having sufferend a crushed pelivs, several broken ribs, and a head injury. Dillon survived the accident but for a whole year after, he had troubles walking because his legs didn't wor as well as they use to.
Sierra's family sued the schol for 3.5- 8(?)million dollar, all to be paid over the next 20 years. This is year 16.
Sierra would have been around 30 this year had she survived.
Funny thing is... most named students involved in the accident... their family names aren't around anymore. Dillon Roberts' real last name was so unfamiliar i could only guess they moved, and though there are other 'Fords' I have no idea if they are releated to the girl who died that year. Even if they are, it isn't like can ask.
The accident was horrible.
Now on that one road down near an old farm vilalge, there are four crosses in her memory. Even today. But no one talks about it it. I guess that's why we cancel school so much with the slightest threat of snow or ice in our area, despite the roads not being icy when that bus crashed that day.
I don't believe they even have a year book from that year around anymore. I tried to find one in the libarry but it no longer existed to my knowledge, same for the one when I was in 4th grade where that one student had commited suicide.
Aside from all school related topics, there are mnay more secrets and events I kow happened in this town. Including one, as mentioend, dating bck to the 1800s during Lincoln's lifetime. Our 'city' was a major hub for some.. very racist organizations and, again, there is nothing in our museum lettin gus know that information. it's all about lincolnc.
No wonder he hated our town. I would have moved the capital too if I were him...
Later on in the 1900s, maybe the 80's or early 90's, a man lost his wife to 'suicide' but the funny thing is.. the gun was in the wrong hand. She was left hadned but the gun was in her right. He got away with it, no one suspected murder.
Again, not talked about.
I do not remember what date this was, only that I was there. It was the Thursday before October 31st, 2014. That is the day we have our Halloween parade. I was 11 or 12 then and me, my mother, and my father were waiting for the parade to start. My brother was across the street with his friends also waiting for the parade. I remember it being cold because, well, it's october and here it's always cold in october, and I was freezing my butt off. I hate the parade only for that reason... that and they stopped throwing candy.
After sitting for over an hour, the parade was about to start.
And as scheduled time goes, a train was coming pretty fast down the tracks. It was 7pm, no questions asked... and I remember hearing a thud or a bump and we thought maybe the train hit a bump as our town is full of hills and kids put things on the tracks all the time for fun. My brother snickered because at the time, neither of us had any idea what was going on.
The sirens of the firetrucks starting going. It was now 7:05 so.. the parade started, but they were moving faster than usual. I was confused. Everyone kind of stopped the moment someone announced a car had been hit by the train. I looked behind me because we were close to the tracks and I saw the wreckage of the vehicle. No one knew how bad it was at the time.
There was a woman, the mother, age 35.
A teenager, 18.
A boy 13.
His brother 9.
And a little girl, 10.
The little girl was killed on impact and the 13 year old was thrown from the SUV, found near a concrete structure about ten feet from the tracks. The mother and her youngest son were air lifted to the nearest cities to recieve treatment but the mother died the very next day, her son surviving but most likely never to walk again. She had a husband and another son at home.
As tragic as the accident was, I can't say it was not her fault. She deliberately crossed the tracks in a hurry to get to the parade, despite people claiiming she was stuck in traffic. The camera on the train showed otherwise. Now, our town has not completely forgotten about this one, but it isn't soemthing we're supposed to talk about- especially because it wasn't our own people, but some family from our rivaling town about thirty minutes from us.
She got her children killed all because of, what... a silly parade that happens every year?
Then, two years ago at a separate parade, a little boy almost got hit because his mother wasn't watching him. He was two and the sole reason we no longer are allowed to throw out candy in the parade. That and little children trhew chocolate into the tubas from our rivaling band.
So. Our town is secretive.
I wanted to tell mroe andn give mroe detail but missclue is being really buggy with long posts, ike freezing every now and then. It could just be my computer but, oh well. There isn't much more to talk about, anyhow.
This kind of stuff bothers me. They basically say, "Just because it happens, doesn't mean we have to talk about it."
"I'm not great with advice, may I offer a sarcastic comment instead?"