February 11, 2008
CANDLER CTY, Ga.---A Sunday afternoon crash on Interstate 16 near Metter has killed two college students from Columbia County.
Jessica Fulmer, 21, and Melissa Eustice, also 21, were graduates of Lakeside High School and were attending Georgia Southern University.
Another GSU student, Jamie Carter, is in the hospital.
State troopers say the three were in a small SUV that flipped several times in the median of the highway. All three were thrown out of the vehicle.
And now, family and friends are remembering the two girls whose lives were lost in this tragedy.
"They're both awesome students. Never a lick of trouble. Beautiful, intelligent had so much to look forward to. Just a tragic loss," says Dr. Jeff Carney, the Lakeside Principal.
Jamie Carter,from Warner Robins, the third girl in the SUV, is in critical condition at a Savannah Hospital. Mike Bedsole's a family friend of the Eustices'.
"She's just gorgeous and second thing is, her friendly, bubbly kinda cheerleader personality. She's just a wonderful young lady," says Mike.
Melissa and Jessica, both cheerleaders, were very involved in school activities.
"Great students involved from supportive parents and supportive families. You just couldn't ask for anything better. Very well known, popular for all the right reasons. I mean, just great kids," says Dr. Carney.
"My heart goes out to Gil and Jill, the parents of Melissa. As well as to her older sister. None of us can imagine how they're feeling right now," says Mike.
Mike's son dated Melissa.
"Always, you know, hugging. So friendly, and she just really became a part of the family," says Mike.
And now, that part of the family tragically gone, but not forgotten.
"Just like she was, her personality. Her beautiful looks. That's all you can remember. Her friendly, outgoing nature," says Mike.
Grief counselors were at Lakeside on Monday on a case-by-case basis helping students and staff get through.
"It just takes the air out of you. A school is an extended part of a family and when parents lose kids, we lose kids," says Mike.
News 12 did go to Jessica's house to talk to the family, but they were understandably shaken and grieving their loss.
We do know alcohol and speed are not considered a factor, but it is apparent none of the girls were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.