Three Alabama high schoolers were killed on Christmas day when one lost control of their car and smashed into a tree, authorities said Thursday.
Addyson Martin, Emilee Fain and Cassidy Dunn, all aged 16, were cheerleaders at Geneva High School. They had just left a home where they were celebrating the holiday together when the SUV careened off the road at about 6 p.m., according to authorities.
“We’re not sure for what reason they lost control, but it hit a big oak tree,” said Lt. Michael McDuffie, a spokesman for the Geneva Police Department. “It could have been a deer ran out in front of them.”
The three teenagers were “in the front seat of the car,” said Geneva County Coroner Donny Adkinson.
Two other girls were in the back seat at the time of the crash, he said. One was seriously injured. She was airlifted to a hospital in Birmingham and is expected to recover. The other girl was not seriously injured.
“It’s just awful,” Adkinson said.
Police Chief Tony Clemmons posted on the department’s Facebook page asking people to pray for the girl’s families.
A photograph from WTVY-TV showed the wrecked vehicle with its roof apparently ripped off.
According to the station, all of the deceased girls played on school sports teams in addition to being cheerleaders. Martin and Dunn were decorated local beauty queens, with Martin holding the title of Teen Miss Geneva when she died.
Their funerals will be held on consecutive afternoons, between Saturday and Monday, at the First Baptist Church of Geneva, where they were active in the youth group. The church opened its sanctuary for the grieving community.