Covington Catholic Students Involved in Fatal Crash After March for Life

Blake Montgomery
REUTERS/Madalyn McGarvey

Covington Catholic high-school students returning by charter bus to Kentucky from the annual March for Life were involved in a fatal crash Saturday morning, the Associated Press reported.

The bus, one of four in a caravan carrying roughly 200 Covington students and chaperones, collided with a car in Campbell County, Kentucky, according to police. The car’s driver, who is as yet unidentified, was pronounced dead at the scene. The students had traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the annual anti-abortion March for Life on January 24. Local outlet WLWT5 reported that the car, originally going south, moved to the northbound side of the highway and hit the bus head on.

Two people on the bus were taken to the hospital for their injuries, and others suffered minor wounds, according to WLWT5. Because of damage to the bus, the students used emergency exit windows to escape the vehicle, the outlet reported.

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At the 2019 anti-abortion March for Life, Covington Catholic students attracted national attention for their encounter with a Native American activist, Nathan Phillips, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. A video of one student, Nick Sandmann, smirking in a MAGA hat as he faced off against Philips became emblematic of what many said was an act of racist taunting by the students.

Others saw the criticism as an overreaction and said media coverage of the event blew it out of proportion, especially as details beyond the first video emerged. Some students received death threats as a result of the ensuing controversy, and Covington Catholic briefly closed for safety concerns. Sandmann filed defamation lawsuits against the Washington Post, CNN, and NBCUniversal. A judge dismissed the suit against the Post, and CNN settled with Sandmann in January 2020. The suit against NBC is ongoing.

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