MOULTON, AL (WAFF) - A crash between a pickup and a coal truck claimed the lives of a father and daughter Friday.
It happened on Highway 24 and County Road 217 in Lawrence County as the father, Michael Serda, was taking his 11-year-old girl to school. The driver of the 18-wheeler said the pickup came off of 217 and went straight across 24 into the eastbound lane. He said the truck ended up right in front of him and he didn't have enough time to avoid the crash.
The Lawrence County Coroner said that does appear to be what happened, but State Troopers are still investigating.
Sierra was pronounced dead at the scene. Emergency workers rushed 39-year-old father Michael to the hospital, but he did not survive.
Sierra Serda was a sixth-grade student at Danville Middle School. She moved there from Tennessee and began attending Danville in November. Her teachers and some of her classmates learned about the tragedy as the day went along.
Michael had formed a special bond with Sparkman Junior High students. While serving in the military overseas, he became pen pals with some students there. One day, while back from deployment, he made a surprise visit.
"What a great personality. He really loved the kids they really took to him. They invited him there; the children didn't know he was going to show up. We were able to go in there and he surprised them. They were really excited to meet 'Uncle Mike.' It was the first time they ever got to meet him," said Dr. Bill Hopkins, Morgan County Schools Junior Superintendent.
Danville Middle School had grief counselors available to help students and staff. "What a tragedy to lose a father and daughter at one time. Those are things we'll have counselors at both schools to deal with, but really nothing can help more than our thoughts and prayers for the whole family," said Dr. Hopkins.
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