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N. Pike student dies in accident

A 16-year-old North Pike High School sophomore was killed in aone-vehicle accident Wednesday evening in southern Lincoln County,authorities said.

Zack Cox was on his way to church when his Red 2001 Ford F-150collided with an oak tree in the accident that happened around 6:05p.m. on Cole Drive.

“It appears he lost control of the vehicle, overcompensated, andhit a tree,” said Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing.

The Brookhaven Fire Department was on the scene with the Jaws ofLife, but Cox was pronounced dead on the scene, authoritiessaid.

Cox was a sophomore at North Pike High School and a member of ShadyGrove Baptist Church. School district officials said he was stayingwith a friend because his parents were out of town, and was on hisway to First Baptist Church in Summit when the accident took placeabout four miles off Highway 583.

His father, Dr. Ben Cox, is superintendent of the North PikeConsolidated School District. He is also survived by his mother,Dana, and his brother Josh, who is a freshman at the University ofMississippi.

“We’re deeply grieved for the family,” said Jean Pope, North Pikeassistant superintendent. “We’re asking everyone to remember themin their prayers and to continue to look to the future.”

Pope said North Pike has grief counselors and area youth ministerson site at the high school today, and meetings have been held withfaculty on how to help the students deal with their shock.

“We’re just all in shock,” Pope said. “The students are holding upwell so far with the help of the counselors and youth directorsthat are here today. We’re just so heartbroken for the family andfor everyone who loved Zack, because we all did.”

Dr. Cox and his wife were attending an educational conference inLaguna Beach, Calif.

Rushing said the accident is still under investigation.