Third Colbert Heights student killed in vehicle accident

By Josh Ault  bio|e-mail

TUSCUMBIA, AL (WAFF)  A one vehicle accident in the Colbert Heights Community killed three people Wednesday.

The accident happened on Woodmont Drive, just south of Colbert Heights High School.

One of the victims, Gary French, Jr., was an 8th grader at the high school.

The accident happened when French's father, Gary French, lost control of the vehicle after going around a sharp curve near Valley View Road.

"I saw the horrific accident," said Ravland Stubblefield, who lives on the curve, "The car went off the road, rolled a few times.  Not something you want to see from your kitchen window."

Gary French, his 13-year-old son, and 20-year-old Harvey Brannon all died in the accident.

"Gary was a very pleasant student," said Brudgie Davis, Colbert Heights High School Assistant Principal, "Never really caused any problems."

"I was always glad to see him everyday," added Davis, "Because when I would see him I would cut up with him or say something to him, and you could see a big smile on his face."

French is the third student to die this year in a vehicle accident.  14-year-old Dalton Stewart and 14-year-old Hunter Moore both lost their lives earlier this year in separate wrecks.

"It has been a very difficult year from the standpoint of now losing out third student," said Davis, "I just have a personal faith.  I believe God is always with us."

Residents who live near the curve on Woodmont Drive hope something is done to prevent future accidents.

"We lost 3 last night," said Stubblefield, "We've had someone paralyzed at this corner.  How many people have to lose their life before we do something about it?"

Residents hope signs can be put up before the curve warning of its dangers.

Investigators are still trying to figure out the exact cause of the crash, but they believe speed did play a factor.

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