STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Hunter Saussy, right, came to Cairo Friday to examine damage to the new College and Career Center on the campus of Cairo High School after it was struck by an out-of-control vehicle Wednesday. Meeting with the engineer are, l-r, finance officer Dan Broome, School Superintendent Dr. Kermit Gilliard, and maintenance director Dave Mitchell. The engineer determined the wall is sound and repairs will be scheduled to be made this summer.
A freak accident occurred last Wednesday when a vehicle traveling south on Fifth Street S.E. in front of Cairo High School suddenly left the roadway and crossed the band practice field before striking the North wall of the new College and Career Center.
Luckily, the out-of-control vehicle narrowly missed hitting an oncoming school bus, avoided hitting parked cars in the teacher parking lot and caused no serious harm to students or the driver of the vehicle, according to school officials.
The 53-year-old driver apparently suffered from a medical episode when he lost control of the 2014 Nissan Rogue he was driving at approximately 2:46 p.m.
“We are so thankful no one was seriously injured. Had it been at a different time of the day or year it could have been a tragedy,” said Cairo High School principal Chris Lokey.
However, the victim’s vehicle suffered extensive damage and the wall of the College and Career Center suffered damage to the exterior and interior.
Hunter Saussy, a structural engineer from Savannah, flew to Cairo on Friday to examine the damage to the new building on the C.H.S. campus.
According to Grady County school superintendent Dr. Kermit Gilliard, Saussy determined the wall to be structurally sound and there is no risk to having classes in the room affected.
“We will plan to make repairs this summer when students are on break to avoid any issues,” Dr. Gilliard said.
The section of the building hit by the driver houses the school’s Certified Nursing Assistant training room where students get hands-on training. According to Lokey, students were in the room at the time of the accident.
The accident was investigated by Grady County School System Police, and the driver, who is a Grady County resident, was transported by Grady County Emergency Medical Service to Grady General Hospital for treatment.
Police reports do not indicate any charges being filed against the driver.