BRYAN COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - It was an act of kindness and respect for the lives of five Georgia Southern nursing students who lost their lives in a crash on Interstate 16, just over four years ago.
A memorial now sits on the side of I-16 in the area where the crash happened, and one local passerby saw that the display wasn’t quite right, and did something about it.
“So when I came up, these two were completely in. One of them was barely sticking out,” said Jessie Keith.
Keith was on his way into Savannah over the weekend when he passed by the roadside memorial for the five students, and noticed something was off. He pulled over onto the shoulder and made the walk back to the display.
“I probably walked about a good 150 yards and came up here, and I had on pants and shoes, took my shoes off, pulled up my pants, and made it right,” Keith said.
Two of the coats had fallen into the rain-filled ditch, likely knocked down by weekend storms, so Keith propped the two back up so that all five posts with nursing jackets were upright again.
“I lost my father about two years ago in a motorcycle accident, and my mother’s a nurse, and my aunt as well. It just felt like the right thing to do, you know," Keith said. “These are five young souls, and they need to be here standing for everybody to see, and it just felt like the right thing.”
It was a simple act of kindness that he’s confident anyone else would have done, too.
“If it wasn’t me, it would’ve been somebody else behind me.”
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a resolution last month to name a nearby bridge that crosses over I-16 in honor of the nurses, calling it the “Georgia Southern Nursing Angels Memorial Bridge.”