Wrecks claim lives

Published 1:11 pm Wednesday, April 16, 2008

By Staff
Lydia Grimes – features reporter
Family and friends are mourning the deaths of four area residents killed in two separate accidents Friday night - the third fatal accident involving Brewton area residents in a week.
Deborah Padgett Rowell of Brewton was killed on County Road 50 about nine miles south of East Brewton at 8:49 p.m. Friday, according to the Alabama Department of Public Safety.
Rowell had lived in Brewton all her life and had been an employee of Jefferson-Smurfit for 20 years before her retirement.
The second accident occurred at 10:25 p.m. on Friday night at the intersection of County Road 4 and Jefferson Avenue in Century, Fla. The Florida Highway Patrol reported that a 1993 Chevrolet truck driven by Michael Joe Edwards, 17, of Brewton, was traveling north of Jefferson Avenue toward the stop intersection on County Road 4.
The second vehicle, a 2008 Ford truck, driven by William H. Arnett, 43, of Holt, Fla., was traveling east on County Road 4 toward the Jefferson Avenue intersection. Edwards failed to stop at the stop sign and drove into the path of Arnett, Florida troopers said. Holt's vehicle hit Edwards' in the left side with its front. After the impact, both vehicles skidded onto the north shoulder of County Road 4 and stopped.
Arnett was not injured in the accident, but his passenger, Glinda M. Arnett, 30, of Baker, Fla., sustained serious injuries and was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola.
Edwards and his passenger, Daniel A. Smith, 16, of Jay, Fla., were both pronounced dead at the scene.
Another passenger, Jessica L. Smith Flannigan, 20, was later pronounced dead at Sacred Heart Hospital.
A third passenger, Jacob Castleberry, 17, is listed as critical at Sacred Heart Hospital. The Smiths and Castleberry were from Jay, Fla., and the Florida Highway Patrol said that none of the victims were wearing a seat belt.
Cpl. J.A. Freeman is investigating the accident.
Mike Edwards had lived in Brewton all of his life and had worked with the Dixonville Volunteer Fire Department.
Funeral services for Edwards will be held at 2 p.m. today at Petty-Eastside Chapel Funeral Home and burial will follow at Dry Springs Cemetery.
Funeral services will be held for Daniel Smith and his sister, Jessica Smith Flannigan at 2 p.m. Thursday at Jay First Assembly of God Church.
Burial will follow at Cobbtown Holiness Church with Jay Funeral Home directing.
Funeral services for Deborah Rowell were held Tuesday, April 15, at 11 a.m. at Williams Memorial Chapel Funeral Home. Burial followed at Fuqua-Haveard Cemetery.
On April 4, Marissa Nicole Ritchie, 18, of Brewton was killed in a fatal accident on Highway 29.