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Keller ISD Alum Among 4 Killed In Crash

Erath County Crash 1
Four people, including two college students, are killed in an Erath County crash. (credit: Miguel Chavarria/Stephenville Empire-Tribune)

MORGAN MILL (CBSDFW.COM/AP) - Four people were killed in a head-on car crash on Sunday afternoon, authorities said, that was triggered when one vehicle crossed the center line into oncoming traffic. The deadly incident happened along Highway 281 in Erath County, located about 65 miles southwest of Fort Worth.

Officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety said that a Volkswagen being driven by 18-year-old Courtney Kay Smalley of Lipan was traveling southbound along the road when it drifted into the northbound lane and hit a Mercedes being driven by 29-year-old Matthew Lee Keith of Searcy, Arkansas. The impact was so severe that it left Smalley's vehile standing upright.

Keith and his wife, 26-year-old Audrey C. Keith, were both killed in the crash.

Smalley also died in the crash along with her passenger, 19-year-old Kimberly G. Peacock of Fort Worth. Peacock graduated in 2011 from Keller Central High School. The school is now mourning her passing. "The school has been notified and is aware that she passed away," said Bryce Nieman of the Keller Independent School District. "We have counselors standing by if any students or staff need assistance dealing with the loss."

Peacock and Smalley were now students at Tarlton State University. Nieman pointed out that, since Peacock had been away from the Keller ISD school for two years, staff members might be having more difficulty coping with the loss than most students. "We understand that," he said. "More of them might know her or remember her more than some of the students that are there right now, so it's important for them to be cared for as well."

Investigators are still trying to determine why Smalley's vehicle crossed over the center line.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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