Memorial planned for victims of Russell County accident

Memorial planned for victims of Russell County accident

RUSSELL COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - Community members are organizing a vigil at the scene of a fatal accident off Highway 18 near Fort Mitchell, where two teens, Janika Rogers and Asija Johnson, lost their lives Tuesday afternoon.

The vigil will be held Sunday, March 22 at 4 p.m.

"I do want this to be something that everybody feels hands on, I know the students, I know the community is in deep shock over this and I think this is something very important for us to help with the grieving process," said Barbara Caiado, a parent of a student at Russell County High School.

Students and parents tell us the Russell County High School community was mourning the loss of 16-year-old Jana Hobbs who was killed on March 17, 2014 exactly one year ago yesterday, when history repeated itself in a devastating way: another car crash, this time taking the lives of 17-year-old Janika Rogers and 16-year-old Asija Johnson.

"We were just letting balloons go for my friend that got lost last year on the same day, and one of the girls Janika Rogers came and stood right beside us and I never knew it would be her on the same day," said Tyren Church, a Russell County High School student.

"It's awful, it's a tragedy and all I could do last night was hold my kids," said Tyren's mother, Niketia Church. "Pray with them, let them know, just continue praying."

Parents say Tuesday's accident highlights the serious dangers of steep roads like this in East Alabama.

"The roads are really bad, we have so many accidents around here, we do fear more accidents to happen," Caiado said.

"You can be on the road doing the speed limit and someone can be right up on your tail, and they end up going around you just to get around you but they're coming into oncoming traffic just to get around you so it's real scary," said Dennell Fairley, another parent.

"Before you get in your car pray, when you get to school pray, every time you move your car pray, because we have to be in prayer on one-65," Church said.

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