Injured seniors remembered at NHS graduation

by W. Winston Skinner


A white ribbon is worn by a Newnan High graduate on Friday in honor of classmates injured in Thursday’s accident.

When William Self collected his diploma at Newnan High School’s graduation on Friday, there was a large burst of applause.

Self was the only one of four Newnan seniors injured in a wreck last week who was able to attend the commencement program at Drake Stadium. Graduation is always a time tinged with sadness as students’ public school years come to a close.

There was extra pathos at Newnan’s graduation because of the injury of Self and three other seniors – Dustin “Haggar” Brenon, Zachary Harrison and William Holloway – in a single-vehicle accident on Corinth Road on Thursday.

The four were traveling in a black two-door Mitsubishi Eclipse on Corinth Road near the Blalock Lakes development when the driver apparently lost control and drove off the right side of the road. The vehicle struck a small group of trees near the pavement.

Around 11:45 a.m., crews with the Coweta County Fire Department, the Coweta Sheriff’s Office and the Coweta Emergency Medical Service responded to the accident and found the vehicle wrapped around a tree, according to Deputy Fire Chief Todd Moore. All four were trapped in the car.

Harrison and Holloway were taken by air to Atlanta Medical Center in critical condition and the other two students were transported to Piedmont Newnan Hospital.

Students participating in NHS graduation wore small white ribbons pinned to their gowns in honor of their injured classmates. Newnan High School Principal Chase Puckett referred to the accident at the beginning of the graduation program and led a moment of silence as the exercises began.

Puckett also expressed thanks on the part of the four students’ families “for all the positive thoughts and prayers from the Newnan (High) family and the surrounding community.”

Self was released from Piedmont Newnan Hospital on Friday. According to Piedmont spokesperson Diana Lewis on Tuesday, Brenon is no longer a patient at Piedmont Newnan Hospital.

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