US

College Volleyball Player Killed in Car Crash While Fleeing Dorian

By Victor Westerkamp

A college volleyball player died in a car crash on her way to LaFayette, while evacuating from Savannah on Georgia’s east coast to evade hurricane, Dorian on Sept.1.

21-year-old Karissa Tatum, second-year Savannah State University Journalism Mass Communications major, apparently fled from a coastal area being ravaged by the hurricane. Along with a few teammates from Savannah, they were heading toward her hometown of LaFayette in north-west Georgia.

On I-16 when her car aquaplaned and hit a tree, according to WSAV, a Savannah news station. She was the only one to get hurt during the accident.

“Karissa was a kind, caring, and compassionate soul. She loved deeply and fought fiercely for what she believed in. Anyone who had the honor of knowing her was left with a small piece of her. She was private but gave of herself freely to anyone who needed it,” her obituary stated.

Karissa was rushed to the hospital where she later died on Sept. 4. As soon as the news of her passing came out, condolences poured in on social media—from the volleyball teams she played on, from Lafayette, where she graduated high school in 2017, and from SSU in Savannah.

SSU Interim President Kimberly Ballard-Washington said in an emailed statement to AJC.

“On behalf of the Savannah State University family, I extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of Miss Tatum,”  Ballard-Washington said. “As caring members of the Tiger family, let us all do everything possible to support each other during this difficult time. Please keep the family in your thoughts during this difficult time.”

Another fatal car crash involving teens was reported in July 2018.

4 Teens Dead, Another Injured After Early-Morning Crash in New York

Four teens were killed, and one was injured after a driver ran through a stop sign in western New York state in the early morning of July 27 in Burns.

According to The Associated Press, three of the teens who died and the one who was injured attended Dansville High School.

New York state police said a vehicle carrying five people blew through a stop sign at an intersection at 4:30 am. and crashed into a tree and an embankment.

The survivor of the deadly crash was wearing a seat belt, and the others apparently were not, reported NewYorkUpstate.com.

The four teens who died were Rebecca L. Earner, 16, who was the driver; Ambra E. Eddleton, 16; Justin D. Carpenter, 14; and Kyrstin L. Wolfanger, 14.

Kelsi A. Bird, 16, is the sole survivor of the accident. A Mercy Flight took her to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester with multiple injuries.

Troopers described Bird’s injuries as non-life-threatening. Earner was driving a 2018 Jeep Cherokee of County Route 13C when the crash unfolded at a T-intersection, NewYorkUpstate.com and AP reported.

Epoch Times reporter Jack Phillips contributed to this report