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Three die in weekend crashes in Henry

By Kathy Jefcoats

Members of Stockbridge's Community Christian School and Community Bible Church are trying to come to terms with the death of a student who is also a son of a minister and junior high principal, and the injury of two others n sons of the school administrator.

A female passenger with the three was also killed but was not a student at CCS or a member of the church.

All Sunday services at Community Bible Church centered around the victims of the two-car crash, reported around 9 p.m. Saturday. A prayer meeting for parents and students held at 4 p.m. Sunday was "well-attended," said Ruth Emery. Emery's husband, Dr. Ed Emery, is headmaster of Community Christian School.

Community Bible Church senior pastor and school president Beau Adams said Monday that funeral services for James Everett, 12, will be held Thursday at 4 p.m. in the main auditorium of Community Bible Church. Everett is a son of Brooks Everett, a church minister and principal of the school's junior high.

"Our ministers have responded well to this tragedy," said Adams. "We're taking care of the families involved and ask the community to pray along with the church for the families involved."

Adams had no information on services for the teenage girl also killed.

The church and school are located on Jodeco Road.

Henry County police continue to investigate the traffic fatalities, which were two of three reported in two unrelated crashes this weekend. Lt. Ken Turner said Monday that investigators are waiting for toxicology reports on tests done on the driver in Saturday's collision, Jeremy Sheffield, 18.

Turner said Sheffield was driving a Honda Accord occupied by front seat passenger Amanda Ramirez, 16, and back seat riders Josten Sheffield and James Everett, both 12. Sheffield apparently ran a stop sign, colliding with a Jeep pick-up truck.

Ramirez and Everett were dead at the scene of the crash at Mt. Carmel and Mill roads in McDonough.

Josten Sheffield, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected. He is in critical condition at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Jeremy Sheffield was treated at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta and released. The Sheffield brothers are the sons of Jim and Tricia Sheffield. Jim Sheffield is administrator and his wife is preschool director at the private Christian school.

James Everett was one of three sons of Brooks and Monica Everett. Brooks Everett is a minister at the church and the junior high principal at the school. The Everett family moved here from Florida two years ago.

Turner said if the investigation bears out the suspicion that Jeremy Sheffield ran the stop sign, he will most likely be charged with causing the accident.

"It's really unfortunate," he said. "But we'll probably have to charge him if he ran the stop sign and his actions caused the deaths of two kids."

The driver's condition at the time of the crash will weigh heavily on how the case proceeds, however. So will his brother's progress.

"What the tox report shows could make a huge difference in how the case is prosecuted and charged," said Turner. "And also we'll have to wait for the brother's condition. It could be up to six months before a decision is made."

The two 18-year-olds in the Jeep pick-up truck suffered minor injuries, he said.

Turner said Mill Road was recently paved for the first time and traffic is expected to increase in that area.

"More people are going to be using that road now that it's paved," he said. "And that interview can sneak up on you although there are ?stop ahead' signs posted. Drivers tend to not pay attention to warning signs."

One other passenger was killed in a separate crash this weekend. Larry Duffy, 42, of McDonough was not wearing his seat belt when the Cadillac DeVille he was riding in left the road and hit a tree, said Turner, killing him. Turner said driver Mario Duffy, 28, was traveling Ga. Highway 42 between Locust Grove and McDonough Sunday around 2 p.m. at the time.

That accident also remains under investigation, he said.