Weekend tragedy spurs grief at OHS

Oxford StockBy Errol Castens
Daily Journal

OXFORD – Oxford High School students and staff are grieving the death of one fellow student and the injury of three other girls from Oxford and one from Senatobia.

“The Oxford School District is saddened by recent events impacting our student body,” Superintendent Brian Harvey said in a prepared statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those involved. We will have counselors on hand this week to help students through this extremely difficult time.”

Sarah Bial, 17, died on the scene of a car crash in Panola County late Saturday night. Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop E spokesman Joseph Miller said it appeared the southbound Toyota Sequoia in which she was a passenger went through the road’s intersection with Highway 310 and hit an embankment.

Four other girls, all age 17, were injured in the wreck. Aslan Williams of Oxford was airlifted to the Regional Medical Center in Memphis, the Mid-South’s only Level I trauma center, and Sophie Semmes, also of Oxford, was transported by ambulance to Methodist-LeBonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis.

Ellie Devoe of Oxford and E’Lane Westfaul of Senatobia were transported to Tri-Lakes Medical Center in Batesville. Conditions of the four survivors were not available Monday.

Students and adults held a vigil Sunday at Oxford High School, with a crowd estimated at more than 200 comforting each other with song, prayers, hugs and words of condolence.

Visitation for Sarah Bial is scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. today at Waller Funeral Home in Oxford. Funeral services will be Wednesday at 2 p.m. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Oxford, with burial in Oxford Memorial Cemetery.

errol.castens@journalinc.com