Police seek motorist in fatal wreck

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Authorities are seeking a motorist who might have been involved in a Sunday wreck that killed two Lakeside High School graduates and critically injured a third woman.

Melissa Eustice (from left) and Jessica Fulmer were killed in a wreck on Interstate 16. Jamie Carter was critically injured when the car they were riding in flipped.  Special
Special
Melissa Eustice (from left) and Jessica Fulmer were killed in a wreck on Interstate 16. Jamie Carter was critically injured when the car they were riding in flipped.

Georgia State Patrol officers said Monday they are searching for the driver of a white passenger car, possibly a Ford Taurus, that merged into the left lane of Interstate 16 in front of a Toyota 4Runner carrying Jessica Lynn Fulmer, 21; Melissa Kristin Eustice, 20; and Jamie Lynn Carter, 22, according to a spokesman in Statesboro, Ga.

The wreck occurred at about 3:40 p.m. Sunday near Metter. Ms. Eustice, who is believed to have been driving, lost control of the sport utility vehicle and it flipped several times, ejecting all three Georgia Southern University students, the spokesman said.

Candler County Coroner David Moore said he suspects none were wearing safety belts.

Authorities said the driver could face criminal charges, the Georgia State Patrol spokesman said.

The girls were traveling to Statesboro from a friend's engagement party in Atlanta, said Ms. Fulmer's stepfather, Paul Ikner, of Martinez.

"They were the best of buddies," Mr. Ikner said of the girls and the rest of their sisters in the Delta Lambda chapter of Kappa Delta sorority at Georgia Southern.

Ms. Fulmer and Ms. Eustice, both 2005 Lakeside High graduates, were pronounced dead shortly after the wreck.

Ms. Carter, of Warner Robins, Ga., was listed in critical condition Monday at the Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, according to a hospital spokesman.

Mr. Ikner said his stepdaughter was a "prissy little thing" who he remembered as a child twirling in her dresses while wearing tap shoes. The only thing that wasn't "girly" about her was her Jeep Wrangler, he said.

Ms. Fulmer will be laid to rest next to her birth father, who died in a car wreck when she was just 3 years old, Mr. Ikner said.

"She enjoyed the finer things in life and understood what hard work it takes to get those things," he said of the college junior who was studying nursing. "She enjoyed her friends."

Ms. Fulmer and Ms. Eustice were high school friends and were on the same homecoming court together in the fall of 2004.

Lakeside High Principal Jeff Carney said teachers and mostly seniors, who were freshmen when Ms. Fulmer and Ms. Eustice graduated, were affected by the incident.

Ms. Eustice's family now lives in Tennessee. She was a Lakeside High cheerleader and was voted the "Biggest Flirt" by her classmates. She was an active swimmer before heading to Georgia Southern, where she was a junior nutrition major.

Reach Valerie Rowell at 868-1222, ext. 110 or valerie.rowell@augustachronicle.com.

FUNERAL SERVICES


JESSICA LYNN FULMER


- Funeral at 1 p.m. Thursday at Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Directors at 214 Davis Road in Augusta. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Burial will follow in Westover Memorial Park.


MELISSA KRISTIN EUSTICE


- Visitation from 4 to 6 p.m. today at Hodges-Moore Funeral Home in Statesboro, Ga.


- Visitation from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church at 1330 Monte Sano Ave., Augusta. Funeral will follow at 7 p.m.


- Visitation from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Williamson and Sons Funeral Home in Soddy Daisy, Tenn.


- Graveside services and burial will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Presbyterian Cemetery in Soddy Daisy, Tenn.

Comments (55) Add comment
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LadyCisback
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LadyCisback 02/12/08 - 06:30 am
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My prayers are with the

My prayers are with the families.

pantherluvcik
628
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pantherluvcik 02/12/08 - 06:43 am
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Well telling them they may be

Well telling them they may be charged criminally is not the smartest way to get the other driver to come forward. My prayers are withn the family in theirn time of mourning. I pray that someone comes forward as a witness with a tag number or that person comes forward on their own, to given some answers for these families. And I pray that Mrs. Carter comes out of this okay as well.

pantherluvcik
628
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pantherluvcik 02/12/08 - 06:43 am
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Well telling them they may be

Well telling them they may be charged criminally is not the smartest way to get the other driver to come forward. My prayers are with the family in their time of mourning. I pray that someone comes forward as a witness with a tag number or that person comes forward on their own, to given some answers for these families. And I pray that Mrs. Carter comes out of this okay as well.

usncporet
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usncporet 02/12/08 - 06:48 am
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This tragedy needs to have

This tragedy needs to have some positive end. Use this story in every high school and every driving school curriculum - WEAR A SEATBELT.

intheknow
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intheknow 02/12/08 - 07:10 am
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There is nothing in the world

There is nothing in the world that is more painful than burying a child. May all of their families and friends, find some comfort in knowing that they are at peaceful rest, in GOD'S loving arms.

Fort GordonGA
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Fort GordonGA 02/12/08 - 07:38 am
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My prayer are with the

My prayer are with the family. Please remember that we know that the family loved them. This article should be used in every High School and College setting where teens are allow to drive. Maybe this story will save someone life in the future. PLEASE EVERYONE, BUCKLE UP! IT SAVES LIVES AND IT'S THE LAW.

The Man1
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The Man1 02/12/08 - 07:43 am
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My prayers are with the

My prayers are with the family in their time of mourning. I pray that someone comes forward with a tag number or something, someone knows something please comes forward.

kjones822
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kjones822 02/12/08 - 08:22 am
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Every time I read this... it

Every time I read this... it just breaks my heart. I can not even imagine what their families are going through. I have a friend that knew these girls and goes to GSU also and she was letting me know what a terribly tragedy it has been to all the people the knew them. All three of the girls are beautiful! May GOD be with each of their family and friends as they greive over the lost of these 2 girls. I pray now that Jamie will recover and be a walking testimony to others as she will be a miracle that others will see. I pray she pulls through this!!! May GOD Bless each of you that knew these girls!!!

WW1949
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WW1949 02/12/08 - 09:32 am
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While working on the Ikner's

While working on the Ikner's home in West Lake I met Ms. Fulmer. She is a beautiful young woman and she and her family were such a pleasure to meet. My heart goes out to Mr. and Mrs Ikner. I also pray for the other girls familys.

jack
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jack 02/12/08 - 10:16 am
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My prayers are with the

My prayers are with the family. I hope the person responsible comes forward or he/she is caught and tried. When will young people realize they are not invincible and wear their damn seat belts?

stillamazed
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stillamazed 02/12/08 - 10:48 am
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I agree jack As much as we

I agree jack As much as we preach this to our kids they still forget to buckle up. They often have other things on their mind and don't realize they may never make it home again. This is such a sad story and my heart goes out to all the families. I hope they find the white car but I doubt it unless someone got a tag number.

markxr7
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markxr7 02/12/08 - 10:50 am
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As the saying goes...Stupid

As the saying goes...Stupid is as stupid does. BUCKLE UP! Wear your seatbelts!!!!!!!!!!! What a sorry waste of 2 young lives...

b
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b 02/12/08 - 11:07 am
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Markxr7 - shame on you ,

Markxr7 - shame on you , these young girls were not stupid , everyone makes a mistake ... Remember what you said when you get into your car and forget to wear yours!!!
Yes - Young people need to wear their seatbelts but so do older people , noone is pefect. It's sad that these two are gone, but , i wish people would have some respect for their parents and quit writing negative comments about them. So now if their parents do read this , thats all they need to read is someone saying " STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES" . !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LEARN FROM THIS ...

mccorklec
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mccorklec 02/12/08 - 11:18 am
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Markxr7-Evidently you are not

Markxr7-Evidently you are not a parent. I know exactly how these parents feel. You need to keep all negative comments to yourself. Don't tell me you have never been with friends in your vehicle and forgot to buckle up. Thank goodness these girls are in the presence of the Lord, but comments such as these will make it harder for people such as yourself to be in his presence. My thoughts and prayers go out to their families. God only picks roses!

MW_Holland
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MW_Holland 02/12/08 - 11:20 am
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I usually don't comment on

I usually don't comment on these blogs, but markxr7, your remarks at 10:50 were so distasteful and so inappropriate that I had to respond.

You are an idiot ... and a waste of DNA.

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 02/12/08 - 11:32 am
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Those remarks were remarkably

Those remarks were remarkably restrained compared to markxr7's usual posts, I hope the family will dismiss them considering the source. I am glad to see the objections to his 10:50am post. Thank you b, mccorklec and MW Holland.

mgroothand
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mgroothand 02/12/08 - 11:32 am
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I don't understand how anyone

I don't understand how anyone can forget to buckle up. If I don't buckle up in my car the flashing lights, bells and ding-dongs will drive me nuts until I do buckle up.

arue
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arue 02/12/08 - 11:48 am
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Markxr7- I just want you to

Markxr7- I just want you to know as memember of jessica's family as her cousin.... she WAS A VERY RESPOSIBLE PERSON..... she usually never went with out a seatbealt... and if it hadn;t been for the jerks that CUT them off we would not even be having this disscussion. I hope that you rest easy.... because all of us will not beacuse we ACTUALLY care about these girls.... and their life was NOT wasted. Please keep your negitive comments to yourself. No one here wants to hear it!!!!!!!!!!

ListenAndLearn
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ListenAndLearn 02/12/08 - 11:57 am
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Amen Amandarue25.....Keep the

Amen Amandarue25.....Keep the negativity out of others' loss. Pray for them...don't pounce on them. But, by the Grace of God..go we. Thank you Lord, for giving me another day and please help us to remind our children....we want them safe....please please please don't forget to buckle up. For anyone touched by this tragedy...you are human and compassionate and God will bless you.

arue
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arue 02/12/08 - 12:11 pm
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KK- Thanks for your kind

KK- Thanks for your kind words My family needs all the postive support that they can get right now.

slainte
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slainte 02/12/08 - 12:17 pm
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First of all, its "suspected"

First of all, its "suspected" they were not wearing their seat belts. Secondly, not all cars give warnings. Lastly, please respect the poor girls and their families.

HOPE
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HOPE 02/12/08 - 12:55 pm
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Heavenly Father come into the

Heavenly Father come into the lives of the families of these girls who have passed on and give there family the strength to get through this terrible tragedy. Lord please give the hospital and doctors the help to save this child who survived fill them with your holy spirit and let them know you will help them get through this terrible tragedy in Jesus name Amen

markxr7
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markxr7 02/12/08 - 12:57 pm
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You people fail to realize

You people fail to realize what the POINT is here. Two young people DIED because of their RECKLESS behavior. I SHOULD KNOW WELL! I LOST MY MOTHER AND BROTHER several years back because they did not wear their seat belts. My prayers are with these young girls families! BUT DAMN IT PEOPLE LISTEN UP! DON't BE STUPID!!! BUCKLE THE HELL UP BEFORE YOU END UP IN THE GRAVE TO SOON!

SunDown
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SunDown 02/12/08 - 12:57 pm
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When I think back to my teen

When I think back to my teen age years I can hardly remember wearing my seatbelt. As an adult I couldn't imagine driving without my seatbelt. I have kids in their 20s and have always worn seatbelts when they were growing up. Recently I have noticed that every time I get in the car with my older son I have to remind him to buckle up. I guess it is a mistake to think that just because I automatically buckle up that they will also. It is so important. I guess my point is that if we want to protect our children we simply can not forget to impress the importance of seat belt use, and not take it for granted. What happened to these kids was absolutely tragic. I don't know if they were wearing seatbelts or not (or if they would have helped). There are no words I can use to express my sorrow for this family. I sincerely wish Ms. Carter a speedy recovery.

SunDown
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SunDown 02/12/08 - 01:02 pm
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markxr7... I think your point

markxr7... I think your point is made. Maybe your mother should have taught you some manners before she left this earth.

1trugent
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1trugent 02/12/08 - 01:13 pm
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As a teenager, I never wore

As a teenager, I never wore my seatbelt because my mother had me to believe they were more dangerous to wear than not. But she was wrong. When I got in law enforcement, my eyes were opened to the facts that seatbelts indeed saves lives. That was verified early on in my career when a fellow police officer was involved in a fatal collision down in Augusta. He stated before that night, he never wore a seatbelt, but something told him to put one on that night. It saved his life. The persons in the other car wasn't so lucky. They were ejected and one of them was killed instantly. That fellow officer made me a believer that night so now where ever I go, I wear my mine. My prayers go out to these beautiful young ladies families and I pray that something good comes out of this tragedy.

S
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S 02/12/08 - 01:26 pm
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All of you should remember

All of you should remember the person that must be hurting the most - Kelly Ikner - the mother of this girl and the wife of the father Jessica lost years before. I can't even imagine losing one person I loved so dearly, torn from me so quickly, as to have lost the child he gave me so many years later. Have some respect and leave it alone markxr7.

MW_Holland
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MW_Holland 02/12/08 - 01:28 pm
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markxr, you just don't get

markxr, you just don't get it, do you?

There is a proper time, place, and manner in which to make a point.

Your use of the word "stupid" in this circumstance is unbelievably crass and insensitive.

If you can't see that ... well, I guess that means YOU are stupid.

cara1985
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cara1985 02/12/08 - 01:49 pm
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I could be wrong, but I think

I could be wrong, but I think amanda was referrring to their car being cut off, not their seat belts. A white car cut them off the road, which is why the accident happened.

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 02/12/08 - 01:56 pm
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cat3112, i think you are

cat3112, i think you are right. i guess i was hopeful for the other explanation. Sorry if i've confused matters.

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