Wyoming Wrong-Way Crash Kills 5, Including 2 High School Students, After College Visit
The group of friends was traveling back to Sherwood, Arkansas — a city about 10 miles northeast of Little Rock — after spending a week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, visiting Jackson Hole Bible College
By Melissa Montoya
An Arkansas community is mourning after a wrong-way driver caused a crash that killed five young people who were on their way home from visiting a college in Wyoming.
Two of those killed were Sylvan Hills High School students Susana “Suzy” Prime and Ava Luplow, both 18, according to The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The other three were recent graduates, Salomon Correa, 21, Maggie Franco, 20, and 23-year-old Andrea Prime, Suzy’s sister.
The group of friends was traveling back to Sherwood, a city about 10 miles northeast of Little Rock, after spending a week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, visiting Jackson Hole Bible College, according to a Facebook post by Faith Bible Fellowship Church.
“Our fellowship is mourning the loss of five of our young adults,” the church said.
The crash happened on Sunday just before 7 p.m. on Interstate 80, east of Rawlins, Wyoming, according to Wyoming Highway Patrol.
Troopers said that about six minutes before the crash, they were notified about a wrong-way driver going east on the wrong side of the highway.
According to troopers, the wrong-way driver in a Dodge Ram 3500 collided with a commercial truck and a passenger car. A second commercial truck tried avoiding the incoming truck by driving into the median, but the driver proceeded into the eastbound lanes and crashed head-on, causing a fiery collision, with the Ford F-150 carrying the students returning from their trip.
Some of the other drivers in the crash were taken to hospitals with critical injuries, Wyoming Highway Patrol said.
The driver of the Dodge, who was not identified, was arrested on suspicion of being impaired, troopers said.
More than 100 people gathered on Monday during a candlelight vigil honoring the victims of the crash, KATV reported.
Quint Scruggs, who is an alum of Sylvan Hills High, told the station the community is in disbelief.
Scruggs said he went to school with some of the victims, adding that they were “always joyful, I mean there was never a dull moment, always made you laugh,” per KATV.
Ava and Suzy worked at Humble Crumb, a bakery in Sherwood, according to KARK-TV.
“They filled a huge role at Humble Crumb in so many ways,” said Betsy Peters, a co-owner of the bakery.
Maggie also used to work there, and she has family members who work there now, KARK-TV reported.
On Facebook, the bakery said they would be closing for two weeks to allow employees to grieve the girls’ deaths.
“Our lives are forever changed and the bakery will continually feel this void. Our small team lost two of our own, two of our gems, on Sunday,” the Facebook post said. “The news has broken our hearts and we are still trying the wrap our minds around this new reality.
“We have ONE comfort and ONE hope and that is the comfort that comes only from God,” the business posted on Facebook. “Ava and Suzy loved Jesus and they knew Jesus as their redeeming Savior. They wanted to serve him with their lives and they were trusting in HIM for their salvation. They are now with HIM in glory and while we suffer their loss, our hearts are also filled with hope.”
The five friends will be remembered during a combined funeral service at the Sylvan Hills High School Performing Arts Center, the Faith Bible Fellowship Church said on Facebook. The funeral will be held on Feb. 4.