Family Says Arkansas Woman Had a Seizure Before Crash

June 25, 2012

A woman whose vehicle crashed into a West Memphis, Ark., funeral home suffered a seizure before the deadly accident occurred, her family members said.

An Alabama toddler died late Thursday when the vehicle careened off the road and slammed into the Roller-Citizens Funeral Home, where the child and her family were attending a visitation for a relative, police Chief Donald Oakes said.

Morgan, who has a history of infrequent seizures, had just finished her shift as a waitress at the Crossroads Cafe.

“Everything was fine her whole shift, until it wasn’t, I guess,” Lisa Rines, Morgan’s boss and cousin, told the Commercial Appeal. “My husband offered her a ride home, but she said she was fine.”

Three-year-old Bella Rushing was flown by medical helicopter to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., where she died about 11 p.m. Thursday, officials said. Her 5-year-old sister, Georgia, and her mother, Amanda, were released from separate hospitals after treatment. Oakes said Bella’s grandmother, Brenda Rushing, remained in critical condition at The Med in Memphis.

“This is just a terrible, terrible tragedy. You couldn’t replicate the way it happened again,” Oakes said.

Morgan’s sister, Alana Buster of New Albany, Miss., said Morgan was too upset to talk about the accident but wanted to let the Rushings know she was sorry.

Bill Booker, president of Roller Funeral Homes, said the Rushing family proceeded with the funeral Friday of Allie Frances Rushing, 83, who died on June 15.

“Our hearts are broken by this. You never think anything like this could happen,” Booker said.

Oakes said the investigation of the accident was continuing, but there was no indication of alcohol or drug use by Morgan.

Rines received a call Friday morning from Morgan, who explained what happened, she said.

“After she told me everything, she said she could no longer work at the cafe,” Rines said. “She was the sweetest person around. All the customers are going to miss her.”

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