Konawa Community Holds Vigil For Bus Crash Victim
KONAWA, Oklahoma - The Konawa community gathered Sunday night to pray, after losing one of their own to a school bus crash.
Seminole Police say the victim was 12-year-old Rhindi Isaacs, a girl described as loving and lively.
The Konawa auditorium was overflowing with supporters praying for Isaacs and her family Sunday.
“It’s just the beginning. It’s just the first step,” Konawa Public Schools Superintendent Cory Ellis said.
Ellis was one of the first community members to rush to the scene of the crash Friday.
It happened on Highway 377, when the Konawa bus carrying the junior high softball team collided with an SUV, which was going the wrong direction.
Both vehicles caught fire.
Rhindi’s teammates and coach made it out of the bus and were taken to the hospital for injuries.
The passenger and driver of the SUV died at the scene.
After the tragedy, Ellis made the decision to cancel school Monday.
“This is one of my worst, so to speak, nightmares, when you’re dealing with children,” Ellis said.
No one in the community is immune to that nightmare.
Despite healing from physical injuries, Rhindi’s teammates still attended the prayer service.
“I can’t tell you the amount of courage it took for them to come here,” Ellis said.
Love and support for the girls and their classmates continues to pour in from across Oklahoma.
Ellis says he and other administrators will put together a plan tomorrow for counseling services for students and teachers. He says numerous neighboring districts have offered resources.
“I think this is the first step of several steps. I mean, we’re a long way from getting to where we can take the next step forward,” Ellis said.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol continues to investigate the crash.
Investigators are trying to identify the female passenger of the SUV.
John Tallbear has tentatively been identified as the SUV driver, according to OHP. Anyone with information on his recent activity is encouraged to call investigators at 918-423-3636.