• After deadly church bus crash, Alabama hospital sends dozens of pizzas to Grady


    ATLANTA - Grady’s emergency and trauma staff were in for a pleasant surprise on Friday, when the ED staff from Huntsville Hospital in Alabama sent over 25 large pizzas in a show of appreciation for Grady’s lifesaving work in the aftermath of a deadly bus crash on June 8.

    “We know what it’s like to be there, so this gesture is the least we can do to recognize the people who step up in an emergency to save lives,” said Joyce Thomas, emergency preparedness coordinator at Huntsville.

    Grady received many patients and cared for those in the most critical condition.

    Their physicians, nurses and staff worked together to provide lifesaving care.


    Everyone who came to Grady is in stable condition, and some have returned home.

    For the past 10 years, Huntsville ED staff has pooled its money to send pizzas to other hospitals that activate similar emergency codes.

    “In 2006 we activated our disaster plan when a high school bus filled with students plunged 30 feet off a bridge. A few days after the crash, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston sent over pizzas for all our staff who worked during the accident, and we have been paying it forward ever since,” Thomas said.

    Investigators say it was a lane change mistake that caused the disastrous chain reaction crash.

    Police said the bus was in lane one and attempted to change lanes over to lane two when it collided with a Chrysler that was already in lane two.

    The initial collision caused the bus driver to steer to the left abruptly causing him to lose control. The bus then entered the uneven median and rolled over.

    The upside-down bus then slid into a Mercedes that was traveling in the westbound lanes.

    The youth church group was traveling from Huntsville, Alabama to
    International Airport Thursday when their bus flipped over in south Fulton County.

    Twenty-one people were hurt in that accident.

    Sarah Harmening, 17, was killed. 

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