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Archive for Sunday, October 26, 2008

4 cheerleaders killed in fiery car crash

October 26, 2008

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— A rural East Tennessee community was grieving Saturday for four high school cheerleaders who died in a fiery car crash hours after they had been cheering on their football team.

A sport utility vehicle carrying the cheerleaders collided with an oncoming car late Friday night on a wet, foggy highway in Scott County, northwest of Knoxville, authorities said. A passenger in the car also was killed.

Ashley Mason, 15, had been ejected from the vehicle and taken to University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. She died Saturday night, said Myala Romines, an administrative supervisor.

"It's more than a shock and we are just horrified," said Cynthia Reynolds, the cheerleading coach at Scott High School.

Police identified the other three teenagers killed as Scarlette A. Hill, 17; Jaime Hill, 15; and driver Shirley N. Hughett, 16.

A passenger in the car, Jeweline Ledbetter King, 49, was killed. King's 22-year-old daughter-in-law, Miranda King, was sitting in the back seat and lost her unborn child because of injuries from the crash.

Investigators believe the crash was caused in part by the slick and foggy conditions, and a preliminary report indicated none of the girls in the SUV was wearing a seat belt.

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