Sampson County Schools is reeling from yet another tragic blow this week, following a Thanksgiving day wreck that claimed the life of a Midway High School student and her father.
Selena Cruz Jose, 18, and her father, Victor Cruz-Antonio, 38, both of Bubbling Brook Lane, Godwin, were killed in the wreck that happened around 9:20 a.m. on Twisted Hickory Road near Bladenboro on Nov. 22.
Tuesday, Midway principal Stuart Daughtery said the school family was dealing with the tragic death of one of their own, one many students and faculty have dealt with over the course of a decade or more, most of them involving traffic fatalities.
Although Jose was a quiet student who was not involved in extracurricular activities, Daughtery said she was well liked by faculty and students and would be greatly missed.
“She was one of those students who did everything she was supposed to do and did it the right way,” Daughtery stressed. “She made good grades, was very nice and respectful … just a really, really good kid.”
Because the accident happened over the Thanksgiving break, Daughtery said students had several days in which to recover from the initial shock, making it unnecessary to call in counselors as schools often do.
“But we are a family here at Midway,” Daughtery stressed, “and we pull together and help each other through tragedies like this. Monday morning, a group of kids came together and we talked through this tragedy. We lean on each other for support … we take care of each other, and that’s pretty much how we do things here.”
Jose was killed Thanksgiving morning, along with her father. According to a report by the N.C. Highway Patrol, a Ford Mustang being driven by 17-year-old Monica Cruz Antonio crossed the center line and struck a Ford pickup truck on the opposite shoulder of the road.
The report indicated that three people were ejected from the back window of the Mustang. Two of those ejected were 2-year-old twins, who were in a child-restraint seat but were not strapped in. Both were injured.
Also ejected was Cruz-Antonio, 38, who was killed in the crash.
Selena Cruz Jose was a passenger in the Mustang. She was not ejected from the vehicle but was also killed.
The driver of the Ford, James Hall, 61, and a passenger, Tamika Smith, 61, both from Elizabethtown, were injured in the wreck.
The Highway Patrol continues to investigate the accident.
This is the second death of a Sampson County Schools student in two weeks. Ronald Lucas, 16, of Roseboro died as a result of injuries from an accident that occurred on Mintz Road Friday night, Nov. 16. Several others were also injured in that accident.