5 children killed in 4-wheeler wreck - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

5 children killed in 4-wheeler wreck

September 21, 2003

Coffee County- A handful of candy still lies in the road. Tire markings, shrapnel, and spray paint mark the scene of the deadly wreck.

"We received a call about 9:20 that there had been a wreck with fatalities here on Smith Cemetery Road which is the Irwin and Coffee County line road," says Coffee County Sheriff Rob Smith.

Troopers say 6 children were riding on a Yamaha 4-wheeler when they were struck head on by a 2000 Lincoln LS driven by 29-year old Amanda Michelle Troupe of Ambrose.

Five of the children 14-year old Coranne Nelson of Wray, 13-year old Kayla Varnedore of Wray, 11-year old Dustin Varnedore of Wray, 13-year old Lindsay Joyner of Douglas, and 10-year old Courtney Arsenault of Alma were killed in wreck.

13-year old Heather Bass of Ambrose remains in critical condition at a Savannah hospital. Troupe and two passengers in the Lincoln suffered minor injuries.

"These young people were just beginning their life, and some of them are my neighbors," Smith says as he holds back the tears.

Now, troopers will bring in members of the Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team of Valdosta to recreate the wreck that took the lives of five children, and left another fighting to stay alive.

Charges are pending against the driver. The wreck is still under investigation.

Posted at 6:25 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com