The people of Sylvan Hills are sad about the deaths of five people who were killed in an accident out of state. Sunday, the accident that killed two current students and three former students was confirmed by the Pulaski County Special School District.
The district says that the group was on its way back to Arkansas from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where they had been to visit Jackson Hole Bible College. Salomon Correa, Magdalene Franco, Andrea Prime, Suzy Prime, and Ava Luplow were all known to have died in the crash.
Monday night, more than 100 people gathered at Faith Bible Fellowship for a candlelight vigil to remember those who had died. Quint Scruggs went to Sylvan Hills High School and graduated. He said that people can’t believe it.
“I didn’t believe it until I got all over social media and that’s all I saw. I told everybody, there’s no way I don’t believe it,” Scruggs said
Scruggs says that he went to high school with three of the dead girls. All five of the students, he said, went to Faith Bible Fellowship. Scruggs said that the girls he knew were fun to hang out with.
“Always joyful, I mean there was never a dull moment, always made you laugh,” he said.
Sherwood Mayor Mary Jo Heyetownsell told KATV that the city will help everyone who is affected in any way they can.
“No words can express the depths of that. Certainly we need to be ever vigilant in terms of their peers, their friends who are gonna be so impacted by this,” she said.
Wyoming High Patrol said on their Facebook page that the fatal crash happened on January 22, 2023, east of Rawlins, Wyoming, at milepost 219 on Interstate 80. They said that at 6:52 p.m., the Wyoming Highway Patrol was told that a driver on Interstate 80 was going the wrong way.
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Authorities said that at 6:58 p.m., troopers were told that the wrong-way driver had crashed into other cars. From what we know so far, a Dodge Ram 3500 was driving east on Interstate 80, but it was on the wrong side of the road. They said that a commercial truck and a passenger car were hit by the Dodge. As the Dodge truck hit the car, the driver of a second commercial truck tried to avoid hitting the Dodge truck by driving into the middle of the road.
Troopers said that the commercial truck left the middle divider and went into the eastbound lanes, where it hit a Ford F-150 head-on. Both the second commercial truck and the second passenger truck caught fire right away. Their report said that the crash killed all five people who were in the Ford F-150. Some of the other drivers in the accident were taken to hospitals with serious injuries.
Authorities said that the driver of the Dodge, who was going the wrong way, was arrested on suspicion of being drunk. More charges may be added as the investigation continues.
“We can’t take it back you know there’s gone and in a better place,” Scruggs said.
A PCSSD employee said that school will start again on Tuesday, but counsellors will be available. The Wyoming Highway Patrol said that they are still looking into this. The Pulaski County Special School District said this about the accident in a statement:
Early Monday morning, PCSSD learned of the tragic accident involving two current and three former students from Sylvan Hills High. Counseling will be offered to students and staff who need it. Our thoughts are with their families and school community as they grieve the loss of such young lives.
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