Two Sewanee students killed in accident

Two Sewanee students killed in accident

October 2nd, 2009 by Adam Crisp and Joan Garrett McClane in News

More than 150 people gathered for an impromptu prayer service Thursday on the University of the South campus after two students were killed in a morning car accident.

Kathleen Beach, 18, of Clarksville, Tenn.; and Kathryn Christianson, 19, of Chattanooga, were killed when their vehicle pulled into the path of an 18-wheeler about 7 a.m. Thursday, said Lorna Croft, the Tennessee Highway Patrol's administrative secretary.

Ms. Christianson was a graduate of Notre Dame High School

The women were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident in Sewanee, Tenn.

"It is a sad day on campus," said Laurie Saxton, a university spokeswoman. "It is such a small community, and a tragedy that affects one of us tends to affect everyone."

Two other passengers, Arden Jones, 18, of Greenville, Va.; and Anna Sums, 18, of Cookeville, Tenn., were injured and flown by helicopter to Erlanger hospital, Ms. Croft said.

Arden Jones was in fair condition Thursday afternoon and Anna Sums was listed in stable condition, officials said.

The driver of the truck, John Tucker, 52, of Kelso, Tenn., also was injured, she said. He was treated and released from Emerald-Hodgson Hospital in Sewanee.

The University of the South students reportedly were traveling east on Missouri Avenue in Sewanee when they crossed U.S. Highway 41, approaching Airport Road.

Mr. Tucker's truck was traveling north on U.S. 41 when the students' vehicle crossed into his path, Ms. Croft said.

Counseling services are being made available to Sewanee students who are struggling to face the death of their classmates, and memorial services are being planned, Ms. Saxton said.

"Our sympathies and prayers go out to the families," she said.