Deadly Start to Spring Break on Region 8 Roads

OSCEOLA, AR - Three people, including two teenagers, died early today in a single-vehicle wreck on Interstate-55 in Mississippi County.

Arkansas State Police say a sport utility vehicle driven by 45-year-old Sheila Johnson of Earle was southbound on the highway near Osceola at about 1:30 a.m. when the SUV overturned and rolled several times.

Killed were 14-year-old Shandon Vaughn, 16-year-old Jessica Jordan and 64-year-old Annie Bell Booker, all of Earle.  Sheila Jordan and 16-year-old Kiera Jones, both of Earle, were injured.

The fatalities come as police promised weekend saturation patrols and checkpoints to combat drunken driving, particulary by underage drivers as spring break for many schools was getting underway.

Two other people were killed in Region 8 over the weekend as a result of All Terrain Vehicle accidents.  In one of them, 3-year-old Elizabeth Everett of Paragould, died Friday evening when the ATV she was a passenger on was struck by a sport utility vehicle on a paved street.  The ATV was being driven by 26-year-old Nicholas Cox of Paragould, who was hospitalized with injuries.

In the other ATV accident, 40-year-old Marcus Angel of Jonesboro died early Sunday morning after the ATV he was driving went into a ditch and struck a fence post.

According to reports from The Associated Press, a total of 11 people have been killed in vehicle accidents in Arkansas since Friday.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)