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Accident victim recent high school graduate

By Ed Brock

On Friday night Christine Alexandria Straughan graduated from Lovejoy High School. Within three days her life that had just begun ended in a head-on collision in Fayette County.

A college prep seal graduate and a candidate for the HOPE Scholarship, Straughan was apparently on her way to pick up her boyfriend at about 4:42 a.m. Monday when her car crossed the center line on Ga. Highway 92 for some reason. A memorial service is scheduled for her at 7 p.m. Thursday at Pope Dickson and Son funeral home in Jonesboro.

"She was known and will be missed for her loving personality, her smile, sense of humor, her quick wit and many other wonderful qualities," Straughan's family wrote in her obituary. "She enjoyed cooking, going to parties, attending movies and dressing her boyfriend Erick (Newman of Jonesboro)."

Straughan's parents, Polly and Karl Liberatore of Jonesboro, and her sister, Marie Straughn, did not feel like making further comments, said Lovejoy City Clerk Cheryl Murphy. Marie Straughan is a secretary at Lovejoy City Hall.

"She is like an adopted daughter to us," said Murphy, whose husband, Joe Murphy, is Lovejoy's mayor. "Marie has been very close to us for 10 years."

Murphy said the city will send flowers to Straughan's family and her husband and she plan to attend the memorial service.

Though he was not especially close friends with Christine Straughan, fellow LHS graduate Rudy Tabares remembered Straughan as a funny, kind person.

"I swam with her (on the swim team) for a few years," Tabares said, adding that he also sat next to her in homeroom. "It's upsetting to hear what happened."

The driver of the 2004 Jeep Liberty with which Straughn collided, Lynn A. Deroller-Mayes, 51, of Griffin, sustained injuries in the wreck and was rushed to Atlanta Medical Center by Rescue Air One. She was listed in serious condition but is expected to recover, according to Fayette County Sheriff's Department Capt. Bryan L. Woodie.

Both drivers were driving alone and both were wearing seatbelts.

The wreck occurred about two miles south of the city of Fayetteville.

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the Straughan car to cross the center line.

Both vehicles were listed as total losses.