"I thought 'I'm going to take these people and drop them off at the Municipal Auditorium,' " Jarrett said.
Jarrett, a Winfield High alum, said there was a van and an open lane to get students out of there. He asked the supervisor at the scene if the van could be used to take the students and others to the auditorium.
The chaplain had baby wipes, washcloths and water for the group if they needed it. He said he never carries that many provisions in his vehicle but had them stocked up for the Special Olympics Summer Games, which were set to kick off the Friday after the crash.
The supervisor gave the go-ahead and a group of 12 students and parents piled into the van along with a trained crisis counselor in case she was needed. Other graduates and their parents would follow soon after.
The chaplain called the fact that no one was killed and that they were able to get the kids to graduation "God doing his showing off."
Meanwhile, at the Municipal Auditorium, senior classmen were worried about their friends and classmates stuck in the wreck. The students, who already were lined up when they learned of the crash, asked Principal Bruce McGrew to hold the ceremony until their classmates could get there.
McGrew said Thursday night that it wasn't an easy decision to make, as his primary concern was for the safety of his students and their families. But by the time he made the decision to delay the ceremony the van already was headed to Charleston.
"It was like clockwork," he said standing on the stage that night, watching the students greet their families in the din of excitement. "Everything worked out perfectly."
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.cr...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.