Community rallies around Whitfield Co. girl who survived deadly crash
The Beaverdale community in Whitfield County is surrounding a local family with love and support after a horrible accident claimed the life of a woman and seriously injured her daughter.
The accident happened Wednesday morning when Christy Wimpey was taking her 9-year-old daughter to school. Their van and a dump truck collided.
Debby Clark says her granddaughter, Katie Wimpey, missed the school bus Wednesday morning and her mother, Christy, was trying to get her to school. She says for some reason Christy ran the stop sign at the intersection of Beaverdale Road and Boyles Mill Road. She truly believes Katie is alive because of her mother.
"She is a miracle. If you could see the van, you would understand that she is a miracle," says Debby Clark.
Katie is putting up a big fight as she rests in the ICU at Children's Hospital in Chattanooga. She came away from the accident with five broken ribs, a broken collar bone and arm, as well as a lacerated spleen and bruised lung. Her pelvis is crushed and she will have to learn to walk again, but Clark says her granddaughter is strong.
"She kind of woke up for just a minute. She never did fully open eyes. She was trying. She squeezed my hand a little bit," says Clark.
Debby's daughter, Christy, did not survive the crash. She would have been 39 next month.
"That's my baby. She was a special, special woman. She was loving and so giving," says Clark.
She says she knows in her heart, Christy saved Katie's life.
"Her mother is what saved her, more than likely. Her mother took the brunt of all the force."
Debby says doctors told her, amazingly, Katie will not have to undergo surgery. Her little body just needs time to heal. She says faith is keeping her strong.
"Our faith and prayers," she says.
Clark says prayers from the community are helping as well.
"You can just feel...anybody that knows the spirit of The Lord, you can feel the spirit. It glows back there in that room. You can feel it when you walk in the room. There's angels all around her," says Clark.
Katie is a third grader at Beaverdale Elementary. Classmates delivered cards, read aloud by her teachers. Clark says she is so thankful for all of the support.
"I thank them all so much. They'll never know how much I love and appreciate them all. And if I could ever return the favor in anyway, I'd be glad to," says Clark.
Doctors are hoping to take Katie off her ventilator Saturday. Clark says once Katie is able, they will hold a memorial service for her mother, so she can attend.
Georgia State Patrol says the accident is still under investigation.