WCU Student Dies in Car Accident

A WCU student was killed early Saturday, February 17, in a one-vehicle accident in Webster.

Tara Michelle Lackey, 20, was riding in an S-10 pickup truck driven by a male Smoky Mountain High School student at about 12:30 a.m. when it ran off of the road and turned over approximately four times, according to Director of Public Safety Gene McAbee.

Lackey, a junior at WCU, and a female high school student were sharing the passenger seat of the truck and were not wearing seat belts when the accident occurred on Buchanan Loop off of Highway 116 in Webster.

The driver of the car and the female high school student are currently in good condition at Harris Regional Hospital, said McAbee.

The students were on their way from a friend’s house to Wal-Mart in order to drop Lackey off at her car, which was in the parking lot there.

Jackson County Highway Patrol officers at the scene said that there was no indication that alcohol had been involved in the accident, but they mentioned that the speed that the vehicle was traveling might have been a factor.

An officer from the WCU Police who knew Lackey was called in by the Highway Patrol officers at the scene to identify her before her parents were notified, said McAbee.