Injury reported in Evans accident

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 8:56 AM
Last updated Friday, Jan. 8, 2010 3:05 PM
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A rising senior at Greenbrier High School was critically injured this morning in a single vehicle crash.

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Gold Cross and Air Med staff load 17-year-old Haley Elise Vanpelt, of Evans, onto the Air Med helicopter Wednesday morning in the parking lot of Grace Baptist Church.  Barry L. Paschal /Staff
Barry L. Paschal /Staff
Gold Cross and Air Med staff load 17-year-old Haley Elise Vanpelt, of Evans, onto the Air Med helicopter Wednesday morning in the parking lot of Grace Baptist Church.

The car driven by Haley Elise Van Pelt, 17, of Evans, ran off Hardy-McManus Road about 8:30 a.m. and slammed sideways into a large pine tree, said Columbia County Sheriff’s Deputy Ty Mobley.

The tree crushed the driver’s side door, trapping Miss Van Pelt in the vehicle. It took two hours for emergency workers from Gold Cross Emergency Medical Service and Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue to free her from the late-model Saturn Ion sedan.

Miss Van Pelt was taken by ground ambulance to the nearby parking lot of Grace Baptist Church, and then flown by Air Med helicopter ambulance to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

Hospital spokeswoman Denise Parrish said Miss Van Pelt was listed in critical condition.

Deputy Greg Kernaghan said it appeared Van Pelt, who was alone in the vehicle and driving toward Washington Road on the 5500 block of Hardy-McManus, ran off the edge of the roadway and overcorrected, losing control of her vehicle.

A Greenbrier High School staffer said Miss Van Pelt, an honor student, is a member of the high school’s marching band and was on her way to summer band camp when the crash occurred.

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kelseyb
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kelseyb 07/23/09 - 01:28 am
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i was in the hospital for

i was in the hospital for hours today and her parents did get to go back and see her. just keep praying i know i am! the burns youth group is praying haley we love you!!!!!!!

PsiChiPres09
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PsiChiPres09 07/23/09 - 01:41 am
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To answer The Ode's original

To answer The Ode's original question: Prayers are a way of expressing care and concern. They do not have to be your way of expressing these things. Regardless of whether or not there is a God who hears these prayers (which is a debate that would be better suited for another place), they should still be respected as well-intentioned at the very least. I like the way John Mayer put it when he said:

"Belief is a beautiful armor/but it makes for the heaviest sword/like punching underwater/you never can hit who your trying for..."

In other words, you can be as harsh as you want, but you're not going to get the resolve you're looking for. That goes for The Ode as well as the ones who are mocking him. So, let's just agree to disagree about our personal beliefs, and limit ourselves to expressing care to this family in whatever way we would express care if it were our own family. Keep the kind words rolling. I'm hopeful!

HillGuy
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HillGuy 07/23/09 - 02:20 am
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I pray that Columbia County

I pray that Columbia County will do something to fix the very dangerous Hardy McManus Road.

free1992
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free1992 07/23/09 - 02:32 am
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It is amazing to me how we

It is amazing to me how we all forget that we are creatures of habit. Some of us think of why it happened, while others put that aside and think of the person and the family involved. Who is right is no different than chosing between Coke and Pepsi. Regardless of your view. someone is going to disagree. I have read all of the postings and do not see distain until the later remarks. Unfortunately some of those remarks are the result of age and inexperience rather than clear thought and common sense. We all look to our beliefs to help explain why in the span of less than a week there have been two serious accidents in one community. Regardless of how we cope with tragedy we all have input. I think it is time to step back take a breath and wait for the results. While some still want to know why there are those that will pray.

ghsfrshmn
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ghsfrshmn 07/23/09 - 02:36 am
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To psy and free, I agree, and

To psy and free, I agree, and wish I could have phrased what I was trying to say as greatly as you had, my apologies if anything I posted came across the wrong way, as I did not mean for it to.

Craig Spinks
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Craig Spinks 07/23/09 - 03:24 am
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HillGuy is right on the

HillGuy is right on the money, per usual.

HillGuy
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HillGuy 07/23/09 - 03:41 am
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This dangerous road needs

This dangerous road needs wider shoulders and guard rails at certain points, and perhaps speed reducing devices. How many wrecks have to occur on this road before Columbia County takes action?

PsiChiPres09
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PsiChiPres09 07/23/09 - 03:47 am
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To ghsfrshmn, I know you

To ghsfrshmn, I know you didn't. I wasn't attacking you, The Ode, or anyone else with what I said. Like free1992, I was simply trying to help everyone realize that there are different perspectives and different ways of dealing with things like this, and all of them should be respected. If you have faith and would like to pray, then please do! Likewise, if you feel that you are justified in doubting the power of prayer, then perhaps a kind word or some other expression of concern could suffice. I'm not inclined to think that anyone here wants for things like this to happen, so let's just all remain hopeful ;-)

Martinez
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Martinez 07/23/09 - 06:50 am
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Roads aren't dangerous,

Roads aren't dangerous, drivers are. Countless people travel so called dangerous roads all the time but when one has an accident, almost always the result of a driver mistake, people look to blame the road. Just like the whole texting question - regardless if this young lady made a driving mistake or was texting, I agree everyone should focus on wishing for her full recovery. Reality though is that too many teens are having accidents while distracted by cell phones, especially text. It's a conversation that should be had with every parent and child. If an accident such as this reminds us to have that conversation, there is certainly no foul intended.

xanadu
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xanadu 07/23/09 - 07:36 am
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Here's hoping Haley gets

Here's hoping Haley gets better, and my thoughts are with the family. I was a trauma nurse for years and know what they all must be going through right now. No matter if she did anything or not to cause the accident, whatever else the rest of you might be thinking, I'm sure the family doesn't care a fig about that. Someone else said, put yourself in their shoes.

ripjones
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ripjones 07/23/09 - 07:57 am
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Shamrock, you are a loser

Shamrock, you are a loser moron. Pam Tucker has a job here in Columbia County, and is great at it. The best thing that ever happened to Columbia County, was Richmond County. Get a history book if you need to. Between Pam and Rusty, the County has much to be proud of. I volunteer my time and effort to her office, trying to make life a little better and safer in Columbia County. Somehow, I think you are probably only a "consumer" of services. Crawl back under the rock you came from. And BTW, the_ode -- I'll be praying for Haley as well -- something you apparently don't understand. I feel sorry for you.

blazestr
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blazestr 07/23/09 - 08:22 am
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It never fails that someone

It never fails that someone from Greenbrier is always in an accident, its a shame, it seems like a curse or something. i pray she is okay and not have another death from Greenbrier anymore. She will be in my prays.

AAQueen
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AAQueen 07/23/09 - 08:31 am
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Everyone need to stop feeding

Everyone need to stop feeding the dog! You'll always have some folks that make outrageous statements to get a reaction and it works. If we ignore them then we steal their thunder (to stir up animosity). Don't let them divert your thoughts and prayers from Haley. Pray for her and her family.

jcwilliams
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jcwilliams 07/23/09 - 08:35 am
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My family and I are praying

My family and I are praying for your quick recovery and your family is in our hearts.

Rob Pavey
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Rob Pavey 07/23/09 - 08:37 am
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I sure hope this child

I sure hope this child survives and recovers. Lots of parents will be showing this story to their children. The comments here are amazing. The conservative view is that parents need to take a broader role in their children's driving habits to make them safe and attentive - and forbid them to use cell phones in a moving vehicle (regardless of whether such a device played a role in this wreck); the liberals here, of course, are blaming the road and the county government for what is most likely a terrible accident involving a young, inexperienced driver.

RogueKnight
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RogueKnight 07/23/09 - 08:53 am
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I'm another who knows the Van

I'm another who knows the Van Pelt family fairly well. Our kids were in band together at GHS and we go back even farther when the kids swam together on a Richmond County swim team. Finer people you'd be hard pressed to find. Haley is a sweet girl. I saw her Monday at lunch, but she was with her band friends and I didn't want to impose on her. Now I wish I had said hello. She was in surgery late last night to relieve swelling on her brain. She's in dire need of our prayers right now. If you're not the praying type, fine, but don't knock those of us who do. Bill and Lexie, hang in there.

GHSswimmer
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GHSswimmer 07/23/09 - 10:33 am
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I, and im sure the whole GHS

I, and im sure the whole GHS swim team as well, were devistated when we heard about haley's crash and condition. We are all praying that she will come through and her family has strength to get through this. To haley and her family, know that the team is backing you and if anything is needed please let one of us know. Every single one of us is praying and will continue to pray until haley is well.

1941
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1941 07/23/09 - 11:54 am
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The' Bible Belt' is the most

The' Bible Belt' is the most racist part of the country there is!!You people belive in the "bible' when it comes to one of your own in trouble, or need prayers, but what about all the racist talking, and thinking when it comes to the president?Do you really belive God, don't see and hear you people?The same prayers you are praying for Haley, you should pray the same for the president. to get the country back in order,instead of hating him for the color of his skin.Hypocrits!!!

RogueKnight
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RogueKnight 07/23/09 - 11:56 am
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1941, you are out of line and

1941, you are out of line and your hateful post has been reported.

lynnsay22
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lynnsay22 07/23/09 - 12:09 pm
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1941...........your negative

1941...........your negative comments are not wanted or needed here. Please go somewhere else to post these rants. This post does not warrant your behavior. What is funny is that you are more than likely more racist than the people you are trying to call out. Do you see them talking about race? Only racist people call out racism whenever they get a chance. Just food for thought.

Purrfectlyevil
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Purrfectlyevil 07/23/09 - 12:18 pm
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As a parent I truly am sorry

As a parent I truly am sorry that this accident has happened.
The downside of this story is that the LAW allows 'children' age 16 to get a license in the first place. Automobiles are not toys to be driven with less than the respect that they deserve. In my opinion, teenagers of that young age do not know the power they have in their hands when they recieve that driving privelidge. I have a 24, 19 and 17 year old. One of my rules was that they were NOT to get a license until they were 18 years of age and I believe that my two oldest may not be the age that they are if I would not have persisted in belief that they didn't need a license at 16 or 17. God bless the young lady and her parents throught their ordeal. Hoping that someone will take a long hard look at our law and consider changing it before more young people have to be seriously injured or cause injuries or death to themselves or others. My 17 year old is eager for his 18th birthday to roll around.. I may make him wait if he is not respectful enough of the driving priveledge.

bandgeek11
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bandgeek11 07/23/09 - 12:37 pm
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My boyfriend has been close

My boyfriend has been close to Haley since they were in middle school together. I've met her before and she was a very nice, funny, sweet girl. I can't begin to imagine what her family is going through. Regardless of what " the ode" says, my prayers will be with her and her family. This is a tragic event and instead of having religious arguements everyone should just be sending loving and caring messages right now.

ADawgFan
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ADawgFan 07/23/09 - 01:28 pm
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Even if she was on the phone,

Even if she was on the phone, texting someone or dialing, does it change the nature of this tragedy? It is still a terrible accident. There is nothing to be gained by mean-spiritedness. This is a young life with everything to live for. Let us please pray for her and her family. Let our heavenly father lift them up and strengthen them all for whatever the future may bring.

jahree2
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jahree2 07/23/09 - 02:03 pm
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Two way roads are always

Two way roads are always hazardous. Its a shame people always assume the worst. "Lets assume"...Maybe she tried to avoid another vehicle coming across the line...I've experienced that personally! My prayers are with her and family.

RogueKnight
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RogueKnight 07/23/09 - 02:42 pm
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BandGeek11, it's amazing that

BandGeek11, it's amazing that your post shows more maturity than some of the posts in these comments. Some people just don't get it. Life is precious and can change in the blink of an eye. Those who would post disparaging remarks would be singing a different tune if it was one of their loved ones in Haley's shoes right now. The how, when and why of this situation doesn't change what has happened, and the Van Pelts need all the support and encouragement they can get. Thanks for showing the "adults" how to do it.

BoonDockSaint
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BoonDockSaint 07/23/09 - 02:42 pm
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Why is it always the same

Why is it always the same ignorant people making ignorant comments? Do you all just wake up every morning in anticipation of typing hurtful comments or changing the subject of the article into your own personal agenda? Make sure you print all of your posts and save them in a little box. When tragedy strikes you or a member of your family...pull out your words and read them to yourself. See whether you are black or white makes any difference when you apply it to yourself and family. See how your comments make you feel when you are so distraught you could vomit. Just curious, why don't you display your real names?

I'll be praying for this child and her family. And yes, I'll even be praying for those of you who know not what you say.

jlhs32
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jlhs32 07/23/09 - 03:16 pm
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Y'all need to direct all of

Y'all need to direct all of this into a productive activity!

sunnyday
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sunnyday 07/23/09 - 03:18 pm
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My prayers go out to the

My prayers go out to the young woman and her family. Stay strong.

HillGuy
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HillGuy 07/23/09 - 04:56 pm
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Have you ever driven on this

Have you ever driven on this road?? It is dangerous.. and there are simple things that can be done to make it safer such as adding guardrails at curves and embankments and widen the shoulders at key points, and some lighting wouldn't hurt either. Hardy McManus Rd has a long history of deadly and near deadly accidents, far above other roads in the area.

RogueKnight
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RogueKnight 07/23/09 - 05:27 pm
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I commute back and forth to

I commute back and forth to work every day on HM Road, from one end of it to the other. I agree with Hill Guy. Guard rails would have kept Haley from going off the road, down the embankment and into the tree. And when in hell are they going to put the stop light at HM and Washington Roads? I thought when they put the new turn lane in there the signal would be next, but it's been a couple years now and no signal.

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