As trucker and volunteer firefighter David Varnedore answered
a call about a car accident, he probably had a pretty good idea
he was about to see a gruesome scene.
What he did not expect was that the scene included his own children.
After the call about the
accident came in about 9:15 p.m. Sept. 20, the trucker hurried
to the site about a mile from his home in Wray, GA, where an
ATV and car had collided. There, he found the mangled bodies
of five children – including his two oldest
children, The Associated Press reported.
Dustin and Kayla Varnedore, ages 11 and 13, were among the six
children riding the ATV, according to a statement from Georgia
State Patrol. Also killed in the wreck were 14-year-old Coranne
Megan Nelson, 13-year-old Lindsay Joyner and 10-year-old Courtney
Arsenault. Heather Bass, 13, was critically injured and airlifted
to Savannah Memorial Hospital.
The collision occurred when the six children were traveling
south on Smith Cemetery Road while riding a Yamaha BearTracker
four-wheeler being driven by Nelson. A 2000 Lincoln LS driven
by 29-year-old Amanda Michelle Troupe crossed the centerline
and struck the ATV head on.
Troupe and her two passengers – 27-year-old Jimmy Troupe and
24-year-old Jeffrey James – were injured in the accident. Their
injuries were not serious.
Troupe has been charged with five counts of first-degree vehicular
homicide, driving under the influence (blood test pending), serious
injury by vehicle, reckless driving and driving on the wrong
side of the road, according to Gordy Wright, public information
officer for the Georgia Department of Public Safety. The crash
remains under investigation by troopers at Post 36 in Douglas
as well as the Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team from
Varnedore told The AP that
seeing the mangled bodies made him throw
up. He said, “I won't
even tell you what I saw.”
Varnedore and his wife have one other child, a 2-year-old who
was not involved in the accident.
--by Rene Tankersley, feature editor
Rene Tankersley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.