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Hart-Moss to have second surgery after crash

McDuffie County school board member Bea Hart-Moss was scheduled to have a second round of surgery Tuesday at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah.

Moss and four members of a Thomson family were injured Wednesday, June 15, in a collision on Interstate 16. Moss was attending a summer meeting and training session of the Georgia School Boards Association.

Four members of Thomson's Lockett family were injured in that crash. The Rev. Rodney Lockett is pastor of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. His wife, Dorris, had six broken ribs, a fractured finger and a broken bone on her right hand. Frankeria Lockett, 12, had a broken rib. Angel Lockett, 8, suffered bruised ribs. Dorris, Frankeria and Angel were released from the hospital Saturday. Wanda, 18, had emergency surgery for three broken ribs and a cut to her large intestine. On Monday, the pastor said he hoped Wanda would be released from the hospital Tuesday.

Hart-Moss suffered a broken arm, broken leg and broken foot.

The crash happened when a westbound car crossed the Interstate 16 median and struck the eastbound car in which Hart-Moss was a front-seat passenger. The driver of the other car, Alton Bennett, 68, of Marietta, Ga., was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Witnesses at the scene said police believe Bennett had died of a heart attack before the crash.

School board President Rick McCorkle and fellow board member Dorothy Hart were in another car ahead of the Lockett vehicle, but escaped the collision. Board members Dexter Lovins and Bob Smith and Superintendent Jim LeBrun also were attending the session.

Effingham County sheriff's spokesman David Ehsanipoor said the occupants of the Lockett vehicle were all wearing seat belts, and that the airbags had deployed.

The pastor told The McDuffie Mirror that his family suffered seat belt injuries from the impact.

"They all had seat belt burns, but the seat belts saved their lives," Lockett said.

Hart-Moss said one of her four sons was on his way back to Afghanistan when he got word of the accident. She said she sent word for him to continue his work there.

Hart-Moss said she has had several rounds of treatment at the hospital.

"They did some preliminary stuff Wednesday when they brought me in, to the right arm and the right foot that was broken," she said. "Then on Thursday they did surgery."

"They put a piece of metal on both sides of my foot, and they also did it to the right hand," she said.

She said she would have more surgery Tuesday, on her left.

"Thank the Lord I'm not paralyzed," she said. She said bones were protruding from the skin after the accident.

Lockett said the injured Hart-Moss began tending to other injured passengers right after the accident.

"That's a strong person," he said. "She was the first one to open the door, with all those injuries, to get over to my wife and try to calm the kids."

Lockett said many other church members came to Savannah to help the family during their hospital stay.

Web posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011

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