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Long Road to Go: Foard community holds prayer service for students, teacher involved in car crash
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Long Road to Go: Foard community holds prayer service for students, teacher involved in car crash

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Family, students, administrators and others gathered at Fred T. Foard High School for a prayer service Thursday afternoon for two students and a teacher injured in a car crash in Newton on Wednesday.

Three members of the school community were involved in the crash: 15-year-old twin students Terra and Tessa Smith and Craig Meadows, a 48-year-old coach and teacher who was serving as a driving instructor to the students at the time of the crash.

Tessa Smith has been released from the hospital and was present at the service. Her sister Terra and Meadows remained hospitalized.

Michael Gross, 60, the grandfather of the twins, said there were some positive signs from Terra. She had been able to open her eyes and move some on the left side of her body, but not on her right side.

“It was rough until they told me she opened her eyes today,” Gross said. “That was a big improvement.”

However, he also listed the serious injuries his granddaughter is dealing with: broken bones in her face, a cracked skull and a broken pelvis.

“She’s tore up pretty bad to be a 15-year-old girl,” Gross said. He said Terra was placed in a medically-induced coma.

Foard Principal Stephen Westmoreland told the crowd of a few dozen assembled at the school that he had been to Winston-Salem to meet with the families of Meadows and Smith.

He said that Meadows is “in and out with pain medication,” but he seemed to be doing well and was stable.

Westmoreland said Smith had undergone some surgeries that seemed to be yielding positive results.

“We got some good news today,” Westmoreland said, adding: “Long road to go.”

Nathan Reilly, a youth minister at Mountain View Baptist Church, was on hand to lead the group in prayers.

People who came out to the service signed a poster with a photo of the twins.

The car crash that sent Meadows and the Smith twins to the hospital occurred shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Newton Police have said Wenfred Alan Hooper, a 29-year-old Hickory resident, caused the crash when he slammed into a line of vehicles stopped at a red light at the intersection of West 7th Street and Northwest Boulevard.

Six vehicles in total sustained damage, including the driver’s education car.

In addition to the three from Foard, Debra Young, a 50-year-old Newton resident, was treated for injuries and released from Catawba Valley Medical Center.

Charges are pending against Hooper, who was at a hospital in stable condition as of Thursday afternoon, according to a release from the Newton Police Department.

“Speed and impairment on the part of Mr. Hooper appear to be contributing factors to the crash,” according to the release.

Kevin Griffin is the City of Hickory reporter at the Hickory Daily Record.

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