Five months after a truck plowed into the Johnson Corners Christian Academy, the effects of the devastating crash continue to be felt by students and faculty at the small school.
Gary Brode was in Watford City to find out how life goes on after such a terrible accident.
It was September when a fatal car accident, at one of the busiest intersection in McKenzie County, went off the road causing a truck to smash into the Johnson Corners Christian Academy. Luckily none of the students or teachers in or around the school were injured, but half of the high school building was destroyed. The students and faculty are not only rebuilding their school, but day by day rebuilding their lives.
In order for the school year to continue, adjustments needed to be made while the rebuilding process is taking place.
(Pricilla Timmons, Teacher, Johnson Corners Christian Academy) "We had to have classes over our house for two months because we didn't have classrooms.We put the 8th graders went into the music room. We had to move the science room into the art room and we used the sanctuary for the church for history and english. it's just been very stressful.
Adjustments around the surrounding area were made as well. Through pressure from residents, people from the school and throughout the community the speed limit at the corner was lowered to 50. Timmons says though she would like see to the new speed limit enforced more.
According to McKenzie County's Economic Director, oil producing counties are trying to fix situations like this but adds the accident shook the community to its core.
(Gene Veeder, Economic Director, McKenzie County) "It just sends a chill through the whole community of what could happen. That is really one of the biggest issues out here is the traffic. It's trying to find someway to mitigate the potential dangers of traffic.
(Gary Brode, KX Reporter) "In about a month from now construction will be complete. Classes can go back to their original classrooms, but it's going to take a lot more time than that for students and teachers to get back to their normal routine."
(Pricilla Timmons, Teacher, Johnson Corners Christian Academy) "The trucks going by will toot their horn if somebody is disobeying the law and the students will all just be ready to leave. You just see them freeze. And you stop teaching at that time and you talk about the accident because we were told talking through it helps them to work their way through it."
Before the camera was rolling or the microphone was turned on, Timmons expressed concern for the driver of the truck.
(Pricilla Timmons, Teacher, Johnson Corners Christian Academy) "It wasn't your fault. I know that words are easy to say, but that's the way we all feel. Someday when you're able to, we would love to meet you. The high schoolers especially have expressed concern for you're well being. Know that we don't blame you."
In Watford City, Gary Brode, KX News.
The school and church committees decided after deliberations to rebuild the destroyed areas, rather than move the school back.
Donations to aid in the rebuilding process are being accepted.