Two Bollinger County teens die in car crash

Thursday, April 15, 2004

MARBLE HILL, Mo. -- Two Woodland School District students were killed and two others were injured seriously on their way to school Wednesday morning in a crash on Highway 34 a mile west of Glenallen.

Killed were Jennifer Lincoln, 18, the driver of a 1988 Pontiac, and a passenger, Jessica Dees, 15.

Injured were passengers Jerry Dees, 13, Jessica's brother, and Heather Martin, 13. All are from Glenallen.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports the accident occurred at 7:50 a.m. when Lincoln, eastbound on Highway 34, pulled around to pass two vehicles in front of her. While she was passing, the center vehicle, a 1988 Toyota, merged left to pass the lead vehicle, and struck Lincoln's car in the passenger side door. The impact caused Lincoln's car to skid off the north side of the road, strike a tree and overturn.

Lincoln and Jessica Dees were pronounced dead at the scene by Bollinger County Coroner Charles Hutchings.

Jerry Dees was flown by Air Evac to St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau and was later flown to St. Louis Children's Hospital, where he is in serious condition.

Heather Martin was taken by Air Evac to St. Francis, where she is also in serious condition.

The Toyota was driven by Brandon Surprise, 18, of Glenallen, also a Woodland student on his way to school. After striking Lincoln's Pontiac, it skidded off the north side of the road and struck an embankment. Surprise and a passenger, David Light, 15, were not injured.

The highway patrol listed Light as the driver of the vehicle, but Hutchings said he was a passenger.

According to the highway patrol, the driver of the vehicle both Lincoln and Surprise were attempting to pass is unknown.

Jennings Wilkinson, safety coordinator for Woodland School District, said that parent volunteers and counselors from neighboring districts spent the day counseling students. Both girls were well-liked and popular with the other students, Wilkinson said.

"It's a tragedy that someone that young would have that sort of accident," Wilkinson said. "We've done everything to make sure our students' needs were taken care of at this traumatic time."

Funeral arrangements are incomplete.

335-6611, ext. 160

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