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Wadley couple killed, SU student injured in Wednesday collision

An elderly Wadley couple was killed and a Southern Union student critically injured on Wednesday afternoon May, 4th in a three-vehicle accident in Roanoke.

According to the report from Roanoke Police Department, Jack Lynwood Denham, 90, of Wadley was traveling southbound on U.S. 431 in his 2008 Toyota Highlander. Macie Breanna Sanders, 19, of Elba, driving a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac, and Jessyln Malane Gosdin, 19, of Roanoke, driving a 2021 Jeep Compass, were traveling northbound, along with two other non-contact vehicles, whose drivers were witnesses to the accident.

The first non-contact vehicle was stopped at the intersection of U.S. 431 and County Road 59 and was waiting to turn left onto (the short part of) County Road 59. It was waiting for the Denhams’ Highlander to pass to make the turn. The second non-contact vehicle was stopped behind the first one. Gosdin’s Jeep SUV was stopped behind both of these non-contact vehicles.

Sanders’ Ford truck was approaching the three stopped vehicles from the rear. It was unable to stop and began to swerve toward the southbound lane. It struck the Jeep from behind. The right front tire of the truck was partially torn off as it continued into the southbound lane, where it met the Highlander, and they struck head on.

Upon impact, the rear of the Highlander lifted, and it began to rotate clockwise. The rear tire of the Highlander struck the Jeep on the hood and left front fender. The Highlander continued to rotate and came to rest facing back northeast.

The truck separated, deflected backward, left the road and came to rest against the guardrail off the southbound lane.

Denham and his front-seat passenger, his wife, Norma, 85, died at the scene.

Sanders was partially ejected and was assisted by witnesses. She was transported by helicopter to Atlanta Medical Center.

Gosdin was not injured.

According to Randolph County E-911, Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, Roanoke Fire Department and Emergency Medical Transport also responded to the scene.

Car accident

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