Athens girl, 13, killed in head-on crash

Authorities are investigating a wrong-way crash that killed a 13-year-old Athens girl Sunday evening.

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Authorities are investigating a wrong-way crash that killed a 13-year-old Athens girl Sunday evening.

A 13-year-old Athens girl was killed Sunday evening when the car she was riding in was struck by a wrong-way driver, authorities said.

Hilsman Middle School eighth grader Kayla Smith was the second Clarke County student who died in one week, district officials said. Nine-year-old Mariah Fields was killed along with her mother and grandmother last Wednesday when their family’s mobile home caught on fire.

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The crash that killed Smith occurred shortly before 11 p.m. on the Athens Perimeter, according to the Georgia State Patrol. Prior to the fatal wreck, an Oconee County deputy spotted a car driving the wrong way near Epps Bridge Parkway and attempted to stop it, authorities said.

That car, a white Hyundai Genesis driven by 25-year-old Molly Tulley, was traveling east when it collided with a Dodge Charger driven by 20-year-old Yanelis Figueroa, according to GSP.

Smith, a passenger in the Charger, was killed in the wreck. Both Figueroa and Tulley were taken to Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital with serious injuries.

“Our community is devastated by the loss of one of our beloved students,” Clarke County School District spokeswoman Beth Moore wrote in an emailed statement.

She said staff members and parents were notified of the fatal wreck, and that school counselors and psychologists are available this week to help them cope with the loss. “With any tragic incident, counseling services are provided to all our students and staff,” Moore said.

Investigators suspect Tully was driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the crash. The Athens woman faces several charges, including homicide by vehicle, DUI, reckless driving, driving on the wrong side of the roadway, possession of a controlled substance and possession of a firearm or knife during certain crimes.

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