CANTON (AP) – An SUV driven by a teacher and full of high school students traveling to a Future Farmers of America event veered off a rural East Texas road Thursday and rolled several times, ejecting a 15-year-old girl who died at the scene and leaving three others injured.
It appeared the driver overcorrected when the vehicle’s right side tires slipped off the paved road, which caused the SUV to flip about 2:40 p.m. in Van Zandt County, about 55 miles east of Dallas, said Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Jean Dark.
Teacher Debra Holcombe, 53, of Quitman, jerked the steering wheel to the left to get back onto the two-lane road, then pulled to the right to keep from going into oncoming traffic “and that’s when the rolling happened,” Dark said.
Quitman High School student Skylar Carpenter was ejected from the back seat and died at the scene, Dark said, adding that it appeared she was not wearing a seat belt.
“It’s a terrible, awful sad situation,” Dark said.
Three other Quitman students were taken to Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler. A 17-year-old girl and 18-year-old boy were in fair condition, and a 15-year-old girl was in serious condition, said hospital spokesman John Moore.
The students were on their way to a Future Farmers of America conference in San Antonio when the accident occurred. A message seeking comment was left at a listing for Holcombe on Thursday evening.
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