Two Ole Miss students killed in head-on collision

October 29, 2012 in News, Statewide News, Top Stories

Accident comes almost one year after 3 students killed in Vaiden

By Monica Land

Ole Miss students William John Wheat and his sister Katherine Sarah Wheat were killed in a head on collision Saturday morning in Oxford.

OXFORD – Two University of Mississippi students, a brother and sister, were killed Saturday morning in a car accident near the intersection of U.S. Highway 278 and State Highway 7 in Oxford.

The car carrying 24-year-old Katherine Sarah Wheat, a communication science and disorders major, and her brother William John Wheat, 30, an accountancy major, was reportedly traveling westbound when it was hit by another vehicle.

Katherine was pronounced dead at the scene, and her brother was airlifted to The Med in Memphis where he also was pronounced dead.

The Wheats are the children of William Wheat and Frances Wheat of Crofton, Md.

“It’s always tragic when we lose students,” said Thomas “Sparky” Reardon, UM dean of students. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Wheat family and friends. We are here to assist them and to do whatever we can during this time of grief.”

Oxford Police Capt. James Owens says it appeared one vehicle crossed over the median of Highway 6 near the Highway 7 ramp, striking the Wheats head-on at approximately 11 a.m.

Lafayette County Coroner Rocky Kennedy said William was driving and Katherine was his passenger.

Owens said the driver of the vehicle which swerved into the wrong lane was transported to a local hospital and treated for moderate injuries.

That driver was not identified.

Caroline Bartley

Ole Miss has suffered several tragic losses within the last year, with another student, Caroline Bartley, being killed in a plane crash on July 5.

Bartley, a member of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, and her parents, Terri and James Bartley, Jr., were on board a private plane flying to Oxford from their vacation home in the North Carolina mountains when a thunderstorm downed their plane.

All three were killed.

On Oct. 30, 2011, three Ole Miss freshman were killed when the vehicle they were riding in plunged over the Interstate-55 overpass in Vaiden and fell about 50 to 100 feet onto Highway 35 below.

Samuel Clayton Kelly (l to r), Charles Walker Kelly and Bryant Mason Wilbanks

All three students: Samuel Clayton Kelly, 18, of Madison, Bryant Mason Wilbanks, 19, and Charles Walker Kelly, 19, were pronounced dead at the scene.