Prayers for this youth group…

Got an email last night about this. This was off the Upland Website:

From Rev. Dr. Gary Hindman, Pastor
On Saturday, June 23, 2007, a tragic auto accident occurred involving youth and sponsors of First Presbyterian Church of Upland. They were returning from a week-long mission trip to Bishop Arizona. The crash was reported shortly before 3:00 p.m. and happened on Highway 395 about six miles south of Highway 58, near Edwards Air Force Base.

To our utter dismay the accident has taken five lives, four of which were related to our church including the driver and three youth. Killed were Becca Vetterani and three youth, Hayley Watson, D.J. (Dominique) Michaels, and Nick Libutti. All others in the vehicle have sustained injuries, and several are in very critical condition. Sponsor and husband of Becca, Tom Vetterani, has a number of burns, lacerations, a broken pelvis and leg and severe smoke inhalation. Brittany Jackson has been treated for a broken arm and leg and moderate burns. Corrie McClelland has fractured bones in his face and will need extensive repair; Olivia Honda was treated and released with bruises, cuts and head trauma. Lydia Depillis-Lindheim has a fractured pelvis is at Kaiser, Fontana with a fractured hip. Matt Borger has been released at home and has a broken clavical. Ekene Akabike has internal problems and they are doing tests to find out why she is in such pain.

Those who were injured and killed had just spent a wonderful week being selfless servants in the name of Jesus Christ. In giving of their time to work at a church and among the people in a Native American congregation in Bishop, CA, the Valley Presbyterian Church, and then spending quality time in the beautiful surroundings of the high Sierras, we know from all reports that that had a marvelous week and were coming home on a great spiritual high. We have been immensely proud of their accomplishments and stand in solidarity with the families and loved ones who have lost a precious member of their family. In faith we know that they are now with God in that wonderful place not made with human hands, reserved for such as these. We also stand in prayer and loving concern for the other youth and those injured in the other vehicles that God will bless, comfort and heal those who have been hurt. There will be much trauma and distress over this tragedy and we ask our church, the Life Bible Fellowship, other churches and the greater community to embrace us all with their prayers and their support in this difficult time. I know first hand that there are congregations all around the United States praying for us and we can truly draw strength from their loving support.

As Christians we do not believe God is in any way the author of this terrible accident. But we also believe God works to redeem, uplift and sustain us in moments such as these. There are no words that can speak to the depth of our pain and agony, only a vision of one who endured the cross out of love for us and who comes along side us in love and mercy. I know our youth and sponsors would want us to give praise and honor to Jesus Christ our Lord and to turn to him to help us come through this time as more than conquerors through him who loves us, Amen!

Those deceased:
Becca Vetterani, driver and sponsor;
Hayley Watson (Bob and Deborah)
D.J. (Dominique) Michaels (Jeff and Tammy)
Nick Libutti (Michael)

Those injured and undergoing treatment:
Tom Vetterani, Arrowhead hospital in critical condition with burns, lacerations, a broken pelvis and leg and severe smoke inhalation.
Brittany Jackson (mother, Stephanie) is in Arrowhead with a broken arm and leg and moderate burns.
Corrie McClelland (Lynn and Luke) has fractured bones in his face and possible internal injuries and is at Victor Valley Hospital;
Olivia Honda (Bill and Marilyn) is at Loma Linda and has head trauma. Lydia Depillis-Lindheim (Jan and Lisette) is at Kaiser, Fontana with a fractured hip.

Those treated and released :
Matt Borger (David and Leslie)
Ekene Akabike (mom: Ogbonne)


4 thoughts on “Prayers for this youth group…

  1. I just wanted to say that I have been praying for all of you and I think that you are all very strong after what happened.

  2. I would hope that as a christian fellowship, you would also offer prayers to the family in the other car who also lost a loved one. The cause of the accident should deter us from the need to pray for all who suffer from this horrible accident.

  3. My family knew Hayley Watson, and (know) her parents (Bob & Debra). We have a mutual friend, (Bruce) and see them several times a year at our firends home in Simi Valley.

    We have known them for almost as long as we have known Bruce (20 yrs). The Watson Family are very special people, very kind and friendly. We have enjoyed many celebrations with them.

    Our hearts go out and prayers go out to them. We pray that God will help them thru this somehow. Hayley was such a very sweet beautiful girl. I will forever remember the picture (which is stuck in my head today) of Hayley and our son and Bruce’s son, playing together at one of our dinner parties (at age’s 4, 5, and 6) which has been sitting on Bruce’s frig. for many years and I have seen many many times.

    Hayley will be missed, but in our hearts forever. We send our Love to Bob & Debra

    Dawn and Tommy Harrelson and Family

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