The end of the school year didn't bring an end to tragedy.
Two more names were added this weekend to the list of students to die accidentally this year, bringingthe number to eight..
Evans High School students Brad Thornton, 17, of Evans, and Keith Kroggman, 16, of Martinez, were killed in a car accident Sat-urday night.
Both were pronounced dead at the scene off William Few Parkway at 12:45 a.m., said Vernon Collins, deputy Columbia County coroner.
The teens were passengers in a Ford Thunderbird driven by Jennifer L. McElmurray, 16, of Evans. Collins said the driver lost control of the vehicle, which left the roadway, hit some trees and caught fire.
Jennifer was treated at Medical College of Georgia Hospital and released, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Crosses, flags and momentos have been left at the side of the road on William Few Parkway where Brad Thornton, 17, and Keith Kroggman, 16, died Saturday.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"She was traveling north on William Few and lost control of the vehicle as she entered the curb," Columbia County Sheriff's Office Major Rick Whitaker said. "At the time it was raining, so weather conditions will play a part."
The sheriff's office was dispatched to the scene at 11:56 p.m. Saturday.
Maj. Whitaker said charges would not be filed until the results of her blood alcohol test were returned, likely later in the week. He said she was not legally allowed to have passengers other than family members in her vehicle because she had her drivers license for less than six months. She turned 16 in February.
"It's not a stand-alone charge. If there are pending charges, this could also be added on," Maj. Whitaker said.
"All these charges will be dealt with as the case develops,"he said.
The accident report notes that the driver lost control of the vehicle and that she was driving too fast for conditions.
The deputy investigating the accident will be doing further testing at the site to try to determine her speed, Maj. Whitaker said.
On Monday, two crosses - Keith's with blue flowers and Brad's with yellow flowers and a football on top - stood beside the road marking the site of the accident. Banners and flowers were attached to a pine tree, its lower trunk stripped of bark. The ditch beyond it held the ashes of the wreckage and trees showed evidence of the flames which had licked limbs 30 to 40 feet high.
Brad and Keith were friends for nearly 11 years, Brad's mother, Kris Thornton, said.
Keith's life focused on the JROTC program at Evans High School, while Brad was a rising senior for the Evans High School football team.
Dave Machovec, offensive coordinator and offensive line coordinator for Evans High, described Brad as a "no-nonsense, hardworking young man who took pride in his role as an offensive lineman and was proud to be a part of the Evans Knight football program."
Mr. Machovec said he would rank him among the top linemen in the Augusta area. The coaching staff at Evans spoke to the players about Brad's death Monday.
"The big lesson we shared with them this morning is: We're here this morning, and Brad's not. What are we going to do about getting better, about making better choices in our lives - to improve?We've been awarded another day. The bottom line is, what are you going to do about it?"
A deadly year
* Greenbrier High School juniors Shane Williams, 17, and Daniel Hall, 16, were killed April 15 and brothers Michael and Matthew Barman were hospitalized when their vehicle left Ashmore-Barden Road in Lincoln County, crashed into an embankment and flipped several times. The accident occurred at about 3 p.m. while the boys were traveling to a golf tournament at Rocky Branch Golf Club, Greenbrier's home course. Police said that Shane, who was driving the 1998 Ford Explorer, veered off the shoulder of the road and overcorrected.
* Two former Lakeside High School students - David Williams, 25, of Covington, and Candace DeChiaro, 19, of Sapphire Drive, Martinez - died April 10 of massive head and chest trauma. They were passengers in a vehicle driven by David Williams, 25, of Covington, who was driving his BMW west on Frontage Road, when the vehicle went off the right side of the road. Williams overcorrected, and the vehicle veered into the eastbound lane where it struck a minivan driven by Genine Urguhart, 52, of Fairfax Street, Martinez.
* Lakeside High School senior Brandon Layton, 18, of Martinez, was killed in a traffic accident Feb. 28, on River Watch Parkway near Furys Ferry Road, when the driver of a Camry heading the wrong way in the eastbound lane crashed head-on into Brandon's Toyota MR2.
* Evans High School junior Holly Spivey, 16, died, along with her mother and father, in a house fire Oct. 4.
* On Sept. 25, Evans Elementary School kindergartner Morgan Danielle Beverly, 5, died when she was run over by her father's work truck.
* Twelve days earlier, on Sept. 13, North Harlem Elementary School third-grader Andrew Hawkinberry, 8, was killed in a car crash on Interstate 20 in Warren County as his family was driving to his brother's football game.
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