Local News

Fayetteville Police Seek Clues in Deadly Crash

Posted October 13, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Fayetteville police hope to find out Monday what caused a deadly crash that killed two 11-year-old girls over the weekend.

Crash experts are testing a blown-out tire on the Chevy Nova carrying the 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 and then slammed into a Jeep Cherokee.

The victims, LaShonda Cooper and Jasmine Burks, were both cheerleaders at Anne Chesnutt Middle School. Many in their classes had known 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 weeks in the school as new students, but had already made their marks at Anne Chesnutt.

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

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

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

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

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

LaShonda Cooper's funeral will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Mesic, NC. Jasmine Burk's funeral will take place the following day at 4 p.m. at Savannah Baptist Church on Tabor Church Road in Fayetteville.

Photographer:Ed Wilson