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West Lincoln student dies in auto mishap

Tragedy struck another Lincoln County school Thursday night whena 17-year-old senior was killed in an accident less than a milefrom West Lincoln Attendance Center, authorities said.

Rebecca Lynn Wallace, of 2700 Emmit Lane, Bogue Chitto, left theschool Thursday around 1:15 p.m. on her way home. After herparents, Beverly and Winston Wallace, reported her missing around 3p.m., authorities began a search, said Sheriff Lynn Boyte.

The girl’s car was found by Hulon Wallace around 10:35 p.m.Thursday on Jackson-Liberty Road about half a mile south of theschool, Boyte said. Hulon Wallace and Beverly Wallace are firstcousins, family members said.

The car, which was going south, had gone off the road on theleft side into some thick brush and overturned in a culvert,authorities said.

Wallace, a member of the school’s softball and basketball teams,was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:30 p.m., said Coroner MorrisHenderson Circumstances that contributed to the accident were notknown, Boyte and Henderson said.

“It was a long stretch of road,” Henderson said.

An autopsy was scheduled to be performed Friday night in Pearl,Henderson said. Brookhaven Funeral Home is in charge ofarrangements.

At West Lincoln early this morning, Principal Monty Wilson wasleading a general assembly for students. Several area ministerswere also on hand to provide counseling, a school spokesmansaid.

A Veterans’ Day program was scheduled for 9 a.m. at WestLincoln. The spokesman said it would still be held, with theprogram expected to incorporate some kind of memorial service forWallace.

Superintendent Perry Miller expressed condolences to theparents, friends and the community.

“It’s certainly a tragedy, and I feel for the parents and theschool,” he said. “It’s going to be a hard situation to deal withfor the school and the community.”

Miller said Wallace was a good student who came from a goodfamily, and she will be missed. He said it is always sad whensomeone “goes out of turn.”

“Parents expect to bury their parents, but they don’t expect tobury their children,” Miller said. “That makes it hard onpeople.”

Thursday’s incident was the second time in less than threemonths that a Lincoln County school student was killed in anautomobile accident. Three Bogue Chitto High School students ontheir way home from church were killed Aug. 23 in two accidents onBogue Chitto Road.

Given the closeness of the communities, Miller expected therewould be connections between the tragedies, either throughfamilies, church or other relations.

“You’re going to find some common bonds there, more than justfriends,” Miller said.