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Injured Liberty students urged others to compete, win in competition

2024 Liberty High School Beta Club.png
Posted at 6:39 PM, Jun 17, 2024

LIBERTY, Okla. — After a near-disaster in a highway crash, a Liberty High School student group is going strong at a national competition on the east coast.

"I believe I turned my wheel over to the side because I thought I don't know what to do, and I said, 'Please don't hit us, please don't hit us,' and then a crash," Liberty Beta Club's assistant sponsor Amanda Williams told 2 News.

Williams was driving an SUV carrying six students to Savannah, Georgia on June 14 for a national Beta competition.

A car failed to slow down and reportedly slammed into the SUV carrying the girls, which sandwiched it behind the school's minibus and another truck with students.

"The next thing I know all of the windows are shattering around me, and I feel a big thump, and we've landed in the grass. We're no longer on the road. And I turn around and look at all my girls in my car, and they all just look stunned."

"At first I was shaking, and I knew I was going into shock because I wasn't really feeling any emotions, you know. And I was just concerned about doing the right thing to get the girls the help they needed as fast as possible," Williams added.

Of the six girls sitting behind her, one had to be taken via Life Flight to the hospital. Three remain hospitalized as of June 17.

"You hear something has happened, an accident or tragedy – that's the kind of thing no parent wants to hear," LPS Board Member Jennifer Rector said.

Rector and Superintendent Phillip Garland said they've been on edge since hearing the news of the crash.

But the students aren't letting up.

"Even the ones who were injured wanted their colleagues to go on and do well for them and represent them," Garland said. "And in fact, we've not only become a Top 10 school, we had a third place winner (Monday)."

The district said the Beta club gives kids the chance to earn community service hours, learn how to be role models, and, in the case of the national conference, present projects they've worked on all year long.

They also get to compete against students from all over the country, and that makes the trip all the more important to them.

"To fight through adversity, it's pretty remarkable," Rector said. "And I think you'll find that not just in the beta group but all the kids around here."

Williams said the group of kids she's around gets their spirit from the Beta program itself.

"They've just been so hardworking and kind, and they're thinking about each other and others and willing to do whatever it takes to help," Williams said. "So I've just been really impressed. This really brought everybody together."

Since starting a Beta chapter at the high school three years ago, Liberty Public Schools has placed in the top ten of several categories at the annual national competition.

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