February 24, 2003
CHULA - The entire senior class at Tiftarea academy was absent from school Monday. They are mourning the loss of 17-year-old Darby Pilkinton. She died Saturday night when she crossed the median of I-75 in the car she was driving. Investigators don't know what caused Pilkinton to cross the median.
Pilkinton was captain of the state-championship softball and cross-country teams, and this year's homecoming queen. She also spent a lot of time tutoring the academy's elementary children.
Headmaster Todd Stanfill, said, "She touched the lives of a lot of people, faculty, small kids. We've had calls from surrounding schools coming in. Everybody knew her, everybody loved her, she was an exceptional young lady."
Pastors and crisis counselors were at the school Monday to help students deal with the loss. School will close Tuesday at noon so students can attend the funeral.
Two people in a truck from Ohio were injured in the wreck. Norman Barney was transported to the Medical Center in Macon where his condition has stabilized. His passenger was treated and released.
posted at 6:20 p.m. by firstname.lastname@example.org