Longtime John and Betty Esslinger suffered non-life threatening injuries in car accident on Highway 72 on Thursday.

Two longtime Scottsboro City School System educators were injured in an automobile accident on Thursday.

John and Betty Esslinger were transported to Huntsville Hospital with non-life threatening injuries after a two-vehicle crash on Alabama Highway 72 near Woodville.

According to an Alabama State Troopers accident report, the accident occurred around 2:17 p.m. on Thursday. The Esslingers were driving a 2017 Honda, the report stated.

The report also stated that three people in the other vehicle, a 2006 Dodge, were also injured. They were 61-year-old James Bearden, 80-year-old Mable Treece and 56-year-old Tommy Vincent, all of Arab.

John Esslinger said Friday morning that he could be released from the hospital that afternoon but that Betty was expected to remain hospitalized.

He said the couple was shaken by the accident but thankful to be alive.

“It was scary,” John Esslinger said. “Just thank the Lord that we’re going to be OK. I’m thankful.” 

Betty Esslinger teaches AP Literature and 11th-grade English at Scottsboro High School, where she has taught since the 1970s. She is also a prom sponsor and was a longtime cheer coach.

 John Esslinger also had a long tenure as an SHS teacher and cross country and track and field coach. The Jackson County Sport Hall of Famer and AHSAA Hall of Famer coached those sports programs to more than 40 state championships during his career before retiring in 2012.

John Esslinger, who is currently a member of the Scottsboro City School Board, thanked all the visitors and well wishers who have checked on them.

“We’ve had a lot of people come and have gotten a lot of messages,” John Esslinger said. “I’m grateful for that.”


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