Weekend wrecks claim lives of teens nearby

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 8, 2014

While no major traffic accidents were reported in Covington County over the Fourth of July weekend, several nearby counties reported fatalities, according to the Alabama State Troopers office.

Trooper Kevin Cook, public information officer for the Alabama Department of Public Safety, said a single-vehicle crash Sunday claimed the life of a Samson teen. Cook said 18-year-old Madison Lee Jerkins was killed at approximately 5 a.m., when her 2001 Honda Accord left the roadway and struck a tree along side Coffee Co. Rd. 625, in the Goodman community. Cook said Jerkins was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident and was pronounced dead on the scene.

Also killed over the weekend were a man and teen from Butler County. According to Cook, 21-year-old Jeffrey Sawyer and 13-year-old Zackary Smith, both of Greenville, were killed Saturday when the motorcycles they were operating collided. Cook said the accident occurred at approximately 10:15 p.m. on Goldsmith Road, five miles north of White Hall in Lowndes County. Cook said neither person was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Over the weekend, Opp Chief of Police Mike McDonald cautioned motorists, both local and those passing through, of the danger of traveling on weekends like the Fourth of July holiday. According to McDonald, 179 people in Alabama were killed during last year’s Fourth of July holiday period.

Investigations into this weekend’s fatal crashes in Coffee and Lowndes counties are still underway.