Posted on May 07, 2013

A head-on car wreck in Erath County, which is about 65 miles southwest of Fort Worth, claimed the lives of four people.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Courtney Kay Smalley, 18, of Lipan, was traveling southbound on Highway 281 when her pink Volkswagen Beetle drifted into the northbound lane. She hit a Mercedes that was being driven by Matthew Lee Keith, 29, of Searcy, Arkansas. Investigators are still trying to determine why Smalley's vehicle crossed over the center line.

All four people involved in the accident were killed, including Smalley, Keith, Keith's wife, Audrey, and Smalley's friend, Kimberly Peacock of Forth Worth. The impact of the crash was so severe that it left Smalley's car standing upright.

Both Smalley and Peacock were students at Tarleton State University in Stephenville. Smalley was a freshman interdisciplinary studies major and Peacock was a sophomore animal science major. Matthew Keith was also a former student of Tarleton, who last attended during the 2003 spring term.

Smalley had graduated in 2012 from Lipan High School and was the class valedictorian. She was attending Tarleton State University in the Presidential Honors program. Peacock graduated in 2011 from Keller Central High School. A representative from the Keller Independent School District said that the school has been notified of Peacock's passing, and counselors are standing by if any students or staff need assistance dealing with the loss.

Our most heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of all four victims of this awful car crash.

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