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Fayetteville Police Seek Clues in Deadly Crash

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Students have memorialized two girls killed in an accident.
FAYETTEVILLE — Fayetteville police hope to find outMonday what caused a deadly crash that killed two 11-year-old girls overthe weekend.

Crash experts are testing a blown-out tire on the Chevy Nova carryingthe two girls. to see if it blew before or as a result of the collision.Witnesses say the driver lost control of the car, hit a guard rail andthen slammed into a Jeep Cherokee.

The victims, LaShonda Cooper and Jasmine Burks, were bothcheerleaders at Anne Chesnutt Middle School. Many in their classes hadknown them since early grade school.

Monday, their classmates were learning to deal with their loss.

The loss of the two sixth-graders has hit hard. The school took time to honor and remember the two students. They had only spent six weeksin the school as new students, but had already made their marks at AnneChesnutt.

Principal Chuck Hubbard says the two girls were well respected bytheir classmates and teachers. He said they are missed.

There is a crisis management team in place Monday at the school to helpstudents and faculty deal with the loss of their classmates. Mourners wereencouraged to talk about their feelings of shock and grief.

The families of the victims say they appreciate the help and sympathythey are being offered. Jasmine Burk's uncle, David Fisher, says thefamily wants to offer its own support back to Chesnutt students.

The community has reached out to the school as well in some helpfulways. For instance, a local grocery store delivered 65 boxes of tissuesknowing they would be needed.

School photos were taken just last week and school officials say theywill give the packages to the families of the deceased girls. That shouldbe particularly poignant for the family of LaShonda Cooper. They say theyhave no recent pictures of her.

LaShonda Cooper's funeral will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Mt. OliveMissionary Baptist Church in Mesic, NC. Jasmine Burk's funeral will takeplace the following day at 4 p.m. at Savannah Baptist Church on TaborChurch Road in Fayetteville.

Photographer:Ed Wilson

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