Accident claims life of Bevill State staff member

Carla Manasco

By P.J. Gossett
General manager
HAMILTON — A two-vehicle accident occurred Tuesday, March 5, in Hamilton, claiming the life of Carla Duren Manasco, 57, of Vina, a student services specialist at Bevill State Community College in Hamilton.
Dedicated, unconditional love and devotion to loved ones are just a few words being used to describe Manasco by colleagues at BSCC. Dr. Joel Hagood, president of BSCC, released the following statement.
"In the wake of Carla Manasco's sudden and tragic passing, Bevill State Community College mourns the loss of a dedicated colleague and compassionate member of the community. Carla's unwavering commitment to our students and her vibrant spirit will forever remain in our hearts. As we grapple with this profound loss, her legacy of kindness and dedication will endure as a guiding light for us all."
According to a press release from Hamilton Police Chief Jordan Carter, at 5:42 p.m., the Hamilton Police Department was dispatched to a two-vehicle crash near the 3700 block of Bexar Avenue West, also known as State Highway 74. Police, fire and EMS units arrived on scene at 5:48.
Manasco was the passenger of a 2020 Toyota 4Runner traveling west and sustained injuries as a result of the crash and was pronounced deceased at the scene. The other vehicle, a 2010 Chevy Suburban, was traveling east. The two vehicles collided in an apparent head-on collision.
Drivers of both vehicles were transported to North Mississippi Medical Center-Tupelo.
HPD and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency are investigating the crash.
Faculty members at BSCC can be described as a family, and several chose to share words about Manasco.

“Carla's dedication to her students was unparalleled, and her nurturing spirit truly made a difference in their lives. As a friend and colleague, she radiated warmth and support, leaving an indelible mark on all who knew her. The loss of her presence leaves a void that words cannot adequately convey. She will be deeply missed, cherished for her unwavering kindness and boundless compassion.” — Beth Roberts, director of student services on the Hamilton campus.

“Unconditional love. That’s what Carla gave to anyone who walked into her office. It didn’t matter if you were work family or someone off the street. She wanted to see everyone succeed. She believed that everyone deserves a chance to succeed and made sure they received that chance. She dealt out some tough love some days, but only for the betterment of others.” — Stacey Miles, educational guidance specialist for the BSCC Hamilton campus TRIO Educational Opportunity Center.

“Carla was so very special to me. She was like a mother figure when I was younger.  She called our group her ‘kids.’ As a student, I remember going to her office many times for advice on my studies and life in general. That never changed when I became a colleague of hers at the college. I have spent countless hours with her laughing, crying and discussing everything under the sun. The last time I had the privilege of speaking with her was Thursday, Feb. 29.  She called me and started the conversation with ‘I thought you should know,’ which meant, ‘You need to handle this.’ So, I did. Afterward, I found her in person to update her on the situation and thank her. She smiled and hugged me. Little did I know that would be the last conversation and hug I would receive from Ms. Carla. I will cherish every moment I got to spend with her, but that last one is special and sums up our relationship. There will be a void at this college that will never be filled. She was so special to so many and will truly be missed.” — Toby Taylor, Bevill State Community College Division Chair/ELT instructor on the Hamilton campus.

“I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss of my close colleague, who for over two decades, consistently embraced everyone with the warmth and care akin to family. Whether a friend, co-worker or student, she had an unwavering commitment to treating each person with genuine kindness, leaving an indelible mark of inspiration through her selfless devotion to others.” — Dr. Greg Taylor, biology instructor/director of advising.

“There were many qualities that were special about Carla – her humor, her outspoken personality and her devotion to her loved ones. However, the trait I admired most was her resilience. Even though she had endured multiple losses and personal challenges, her faith, optimism and determination were unwavering. She always held tightly to the belief that there would be a brighter day ahead. I’ll miss her spirit and her laughter.” — Wade Nixon, business/psychology instructor

“Carla was a vital part of the backbone of our Hamilton campus. She was a walking encyclopedia of knowledge about Bevill State, and she used this knowledge every day to help our students, faculty and staff. Personally, she was an extremely treasured and true friend.” — Beth Gibbs, computer science instructor.

See complete story in the Journal Record.
Subscribe now!