St. Clair County Coroner Dennis Russell identified the victim as Kristan Cox, 16.
Russell said the call came into Central Dispatch at 7:31 p.m. He pronounced Cox dead on the scene at 8:04 p.m. The cause of death was head trauma.
“She was riding in the back seat of the vehicle, and she was ejected from the vehicle,” Russell said. “She was not wearing a seatbelt.”
Ragland Police Chief James “Bubba “ Brown said the accident happened in the 900 block of Providence Road.
Brown said the vehicle was a 1998 Ford Mustang, and that the driver was a 16-year-old male. A 14-year-old female was riding in the passenger seat.
“Speed played a factor in the accident,” Brown said. “The driver lost control, went off the roadway, and struck a tree.”
Brown said Ragland Rescue responded to the accident. He said the driver was taken by Regional Paramedic Services ambulance to University Hospital in Birmingham, while the female passenger was taken by a private vehicle to St. Vincent’s St. Clair in Pell City.
“When she found out the driver had been taken to UAB, she wanted to go there, so she was taken there, treated and released,” Brown said. “Both the driver and passenger have been treated and released.”
Ragland High School Principal Roger Wilkinson said Kristan was a very sweet girl.
“This was her first year to be a cheerleader,” Wilkinson said. “She had a great personality and was very popular. Everyone is just in shock. It is one of those things you don’t ever want to deal with.”
Wilkinson said extra counselors are at the school if students need to talk to someone.
“We also have some counselors on call,” he said.
St. Clair Schools Superintendent Jenny Seals said it is just so sad to know something like this has happened to the Ragland community again.
“They have had their share of tragedy in the past few years,” Seals said. “Words cannot say how I feel except my prayers are with the family and with the school children. We have counselors and ministers there at the school.”
St. Clair County Board of Education member Marie Manning represents the Ragland district.
“Paul (Manning) and I are deeply saddened by this tragedy,” Manning said. “I am really at a loss of words right now. We have had too many tragedies like this in our county. Our thoughts and prayers and anything we can do go out to this family.”
Brown said the accident is under investigation by the Ragland Police Department and the St. Clair County District Attorney’s Office.
Contact Gary Hanner at firstname.lastname@example.org.