North Central Texas College Remembers Four Softball Players Killed In Crash | KERA News

North Central Texas College Remembers Four Softball Players Killed In Crash

Sep 29, 2014

On the campus of North Central Texas College in Gainesville, four softballs can be seen at the school's front entrance. Each has a number, a name, and the letters "RIP." 

 On Friday, an 18-wheeler hit a bus carrying 15 team-mates from the school's softball team, four athletes died.

The accident between the softball team's bus and an 18-wheeler Friday night on I-35 near Davis, Oklahoma, left a dozen other people on the softball team bus hurt. The players were returning from a scrimmage against Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma. 

Investigators want to determine why the tractor-trailer rig went through a median without any signs of braking or trying to avoid the collision.

The driver, 53-year-old Russell Staley of Saginaw, told authorities that he was distracted by something in the cabin. 

The school's president, Brent Wallace, says like everyone, they're still waiting to learn more about the investigation. 

"Right now none of the athletes from the softball team are on campus," he said. "They're at home, spending time with their families, recuperating, most of them."

A memorial and benefit fund has been created to support victims, and students still hospitalized. The four players killed are Meagan Richardson, 19, Brooke Deckard, 20, Katelynn Woodlee, 18, and Jaiden Pelton 20.

The first funeral is scheduled for Thursday in Telephone, Texas, says Wallace.